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2019 NFL Draft's WR class highlights Bill Belichick's weakness as GM

New England Patriots Bill Belichick
New England Patriots Bill Belichick
Adam Hulse

Bill Belichick is one of the greatest head coaches in NFL history. He holds several league records among head coaches, including his nine Super Bowl appearances, six rings and 31 overall postseason victories. Belichick's 321 career victories, including the postseason, are the third most of all time, trailing only Don Shula's 347 wins and George "Papa Bear" Halas' 324 wins.

In addition to being the head coach of the New England Patriots, Bill Belichick is also the general manager of the organization. That means he has ultimate control over roster decisions, including free agency as well as the NFL Draft. While his extreme success as a head coach speaks for itself, his status as a general manager hasn't always been as successful.

One example of a major error made by Bill Belichick as general manager came from the 2019 NFL Draft. The Patriots were targeting a wide receiver that year at the top of the draft to add a playmaker to their offense, which they lacked. Belichick used the Patriots' first-round pick that year to select wide receiver N'Keal Harry. Three seasons later, that appears to have been a major mistake.

Bill Belichick appears to have seleceted the wrong wide receiver in the 2019 NFL Draft

New England Patriots wide receiver N'Keal Harry
New England Patriots wide receiver N'Keal Harry

In three seasons with the New England Patriots, N'Keal Harry has totaled just 57 receptions for 598 receiving yards and four touchdowns. His production has been uninspiring for a first-round wide receiver, especially considering the other options that were available to be selected. Harry was the second wide receiver drafted in the 2019 NFL Draft, after only Marquise Brown.

Jakobi Meyers has really had more receiving yards this season than N'keal Harry has had his whole career.

Bill Belichick basically had his choice of which wide receiver he wanted to draft, and he chose Harry. The list of other options he passed up includes Deebo Samuel, A.J. Brown, D.K. Metcalf, Diontae Johnson, Terry McLaurin and Hunter Renfrow.

The 2019 NFL Draft turned out to be a very strong wide receiver class, but Belichick unfortunately didn't get a good piece of that pie, in a year when the Patriots were specifically targeting one.

Every time I watch AJ Brown play all I can think about is how the Patriots drafted N’Keal Harry before him. And DK Metcalf.And Deebo Samuel.

Four of the six wide receivers Belichick passed on recorded more than 1,000 receiving yards in the 2021 NFL season, while all six accounted for more than 850 receiving yards. Harry failed to eclipse 200 receiving yards this year. Three years is a big enough sample size to fairly label Harry as a bust. The 2019 NFL Draft was a missed opportunity for Belichick as general manager


Edited by David Nyland

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