The New England Patriots were once known as a team that finds great players all across the NFL Draft, but that doesn’t mean they don’t have their fair share of busts.
The New England Patriots of today are considered one of the greatest franchises in the NFL. It’s largely thanks to possibly the greatest draft pick in the history of the league. The Patriots taking Tom Brady, the greatest quarterback of all time, with the 199th pick in the 2000 NFL Draft was a masterclass. Bill Belichick wasn’t as well known as he is today, but this was the start of two Hall of Fame careers.
However, as Patriots fans can attest, Belichick isn’t known for his stellar drafting over his entire time. He has just as many duds as he has Rob Gronkowskis, Donte Hightowers, and Julian Edelmans. Some of those duds likely cost the Patriots Super Bowls, although it’s hard to say that when they won six.
The bad picks go back decades, and it definitely didn’t start with the Bill Belichick era. There was a terrible draft pick from the 80s that seems unfathomable.
New England Patriots,1982 NFL Draft: Kenneth Sims
The Patriots took what they thought was an absolute stud pass rusher with the first-overall pick in 1982. The All-American for the Texas Longhorns eventually won the Lombardi Award as the college football player who best embodies the spirit of legendary coach Vince Lombardi. What a difference his NFL career would be.
Sims spent eight seasons with the Patriots, and he only recorded 17 sacks. That’s pretty putrid, to be honest. He did have a decent season (5.5 sacks) in 1985 when the Patriots went to the Super Bowl, but he was far from one of the team’s stars.
Someone who was a star in New England was Andre Tippett. The Patriots took Tippett in the second round of the NFL Draft. He was everything Sims was not. He worked as hard as anyone, and it led to a Hall of Fame career.