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5 NFL draft picks that prove Bill Belichick's prowess as Patriots GM is waning

New England Patriots head coach and general manager Bill Belichick
New England Patriots head coach and general manager Bill Belichick
Adam Hulse

There is no doubt that Bill Belichick is one of the greatest head coaches in NFL history. He has won six Super Bowl rings with the New England Patriots, the most by any head coach of all time, and is quickly closing in on the record for career wins by any head coach.

Belichick also serves as the Patriots' general manager and is the head coach. Unfortunately, he isn't known to be quite as legendary as the director-general as he is as the head coach. He has made questionable roster decisions over the years, including several draft picks that were significant busts. Here are five of those picks that didn't work out the way Belichick had hoped.

5 NFL draft picks that demonstrate Bill Belichick's struggles as Patriots' general manager

#5 - Joejuan Williams - 2019 NFL Draft

New England Patriots cornerback Joejuan Williams
New England Patriots cornerback Joejuan Williams

The Patriots selected cornerback Joejuan Williams in the second round of the 2019 NFL with the 45th overall pick. The pick was widely considered a bit of a stretch in that spot in the draft, but Belichick and the Patriots went for it anyway.

Here’s the touchdown pass to Emmanuel Sanders. This is first-and-20. Joejuan Williams is the corner vs. Sanders and appears to be playing 1/4. Sanders - not exactly Tyreek Hill - just runs right past him. (Belichick benched Williams for the rest of the game on defense.) https://t.co/gAgARjpIHn

Over three seasons so far, Joejuan Williams has contributed barely any production in the Patriots' secondary. He has appeared in 36 games and has defended just eight passes while recording zero interceptions.

#4 - Laurence Maroney - 2006 NFL Draft

New England Patriots running back Laurence Maroney
New England Patriots running back Laurence Maroney

Laurence Maroney recorded 2,430 rushing yards and 21 touchdowns across four years with the Patriots. While the production was relatively solid, much more was expected of him when he was drafted with the 21st overall pick in the first round of the 2006 draft. He was supposed to be a game-changer but ended up being a role player.

NFL draft picks made by Bill Belichick for the Patriots that show his weakness as a GM

#3 - Ras-I Dowling - 2011 NFL Draft

New England Patriots cornerback Ras-I Dowling making a tackle against the Tennessee Titans
New England Patriots cornerback Ras-I Dowling making a tackle against the Tennessee Titans

The New England Patriots selected cornerback Ras-I Dowling in the second round of the 2011 Draft with the 33rd overall pick. Bill Belichick was hoping he would be a lock-down coverage cornerback for his defense, but Dowling was a massive bust.

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Dowling appeared in just nine games for the Patriots over two seasons while defending just one pass. He failed to record a single interception. What made the selection even worse was that the Patriots passed on Richard Sherman in favor of Dowling. Sherman has been one of the best overall cornerbacks of the last decade.

#2 - Chad Jackson - 2006 NFL Draft

New England Patriots wide receiver Chad Jackson
New England Patriots wide receiver Chad Jackson

Not only did Bill Belichick select Chad Jackson with the 36th overall pick in the second round of the 2006 Draft, but he traded up to make sure he could grab him. Jackson turned out to be a massive failure. He lasted two years with the Patriots before being cut from the roster, recording just 13 receptions for 152 yards. He was a waste of a high draft pick and a bad trade to get it.

#1 - N'Keal Harry - 2019 NFL Draft

New England Patriots wide receiver N'Keal Harry
New England Patriots wide receiver N'Keal Harry
Over the last few years, top WR picks have gotten smaller and faster. From 2019-2021, N'Keal Harry was the only WR weighing more than 210 to be drafted in the first round, and he was pick 32

The Patriots selected N'Keal in the first round of the 2019 Draft with the 32nd overall pick. While he has recorded just 57 receptions for 598 yards across three years with the team, what makes it even worse are the wide receivers the Patriots passed on to select him. They could have had their choice of several other stars, including Deebo Samuel, DK Metcalf, AJ Brown, Terry McLaurin, and Diontae Johnson.

Edited by Piyush Bisht

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