Was 2019 NFL Draft Bill Belichick’s worst year as Patriots GM? Former first-round pick living proof of NE’s mistakes 

Bill Belichick
Bill Belichick's N'Keal Harry pick aged so poorly

Bill Belichick has been the coach of the New England Patriots for a long time. He also does something most head coaches never do - he's the team's general manager, too. He serves in both positions, which sometimes doesn't work out all that well.

In 2019, it might have been the most appropriate example of why teams have separate people for the jobs. There are skills that GMs need that coaches don't always have and vice versa.

The 2019 draft was pretty bad for Belichick and the Patriots, and it started in the first round. They selected wide receiver N'Keal Harry with the 32nd pick.

The final pick in the first round is the hardest to land, but there was plenty of elite talent available:

  • Deebo Samuel (36th)
  • Sean Murphy-Bunting (39th)
  • A.J. Brown (51st)
  • Miles Sanders (53rd)
  • Mecole Hardman (56th)
  • DK Metcalf (64th)
  • Diontae Johnson (66th)
  • David Montgomery (73rd)
  • Terry McLaurin (76th)

It doesn't get a lot better looking at other rounds, either. In the second, they took Joejuan Williams with the 45th pick, meaning Brown, Sanders, Hardman, Metcalf, Johnson, Montgomery and McLaurin were all still there.

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Chase Winovich was a fine selection in the third round, 77th overall. Damien Harris (though he's not with the team anymore) was a fine pick at 87, too.

Their third third-round selection of the night was Yodny Castuje, 101st. He played two seasons and they could have had CJ Gardner-Johnson (105th), Maxx Crosby (106th), Tony Pollard (128th) or Foster Moreau (137th).

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N'Keal Harry is one of Bill Belichick's worst picks

All of that is pretty rough from a Patriots draft standpoint. The N'Keal Harry pick is by far the worst. In a very deep wide receiver class, Bill Belichick managed to select perhaps the worst available prospect.

N'Keal Harry did not pan out for Bill Belichick
N'Keal Harry did not pan out for Bill Belichick

In his career, Harry has 64 catches for 714 yards and five touchdowns. A.J. Brown had 52 catches for 1,051 yards and eight touchdowns in his rookie season alone. Most of the 2019 wide receiver class outpaced Harry's career with their rookie season alone.

While not all of them are still with the team that drafted them, they're at least still considered valuable even if they were moved. Harry spent last season with the Chicago Bears after providing nothing for New England.

Had Bill Belichick just selected a better wide receiver, it's very possible things in the NFL are very different. Had he paired any one of the other wideouts from that draft with Tom Brady, he might not have left.

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Brady left for many reasons, but a frustrating lack of help on offense was a big one. If Brady had been able to throw to McLaurin, Metcalf, Brown or Samuel, he might not have been inclined to flee for Tampa Bay.

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