By Matthew Geagan, CBS Boston
BOSTON (CBS) — This trip down memory lane is going to be a quick one. The 2017 NFL draft was a big waste of time for the Patriots, unless you’re a big fan of Bill Belichick trading down a bunch of times.READ MORE: New York City Announces First-In-The-Nation Vaccine Mandate For Private Companies
The Patriots didn’t have their first-round pick after trading it (No. 32) to the New Orleans Saints for wide receiver Brandin Cooks. That was a good move on their part.
The Patriots also didn’t have their second-round pick, No. 64 overall, because they sent it to the Carolina Panthers for Kony Ealy. That wasn’t a good move, though it really only cost the Patriots eight spots in the draft, as they received the No. 72 overall selection as well as Ealy.
The Patriots didn’t use that pick though, sending it to the Titans (along with a sixth-round pick) for the No. 83 overall selection and a No. 124 in the fourth round. After using No. 83, Belichick traded picks No. 96 and No. 124 for pick No. 85.
Before Day 3 of the draft got underway, Belichick traded his only fifth-round pick (No. 183) to the Chiefs for tight end James O’Shaughnessy and pick No. 216. A few hours later, the Patriots traded No. 216 and their final seventh-round pick (No. 239) to the Cowboys pick pick No. 211.
After all of that wheeling and dealing, the Patriots ended up selecting just four players, making it the smallest draft class of the Belichick era. And only one of those picks is still on the team. While Detrich Wise has gotten some playing time, the 2017 draft was a big waste of time for the Patriots.
Rd. 3, No. 83: Derek Rivers, DE
The Maine native was a sack machine at Youngstown State, but his rookie season ended before it started due to a torn ACL in training camp. He registered one sack in his six games in 2018, but spent all of 2019 on IR after suffering an injury during the preseason.
Rivers is on the books for the 2020 season, so he has another shot to make an impact. But so far, injuries have kept him from doing much of anything on the field.
Rd. 3, No. 85: Antonio Garcia, T
READ MORE: Sharon Gless On Book 'Apparently There Were Complaints: Cagney & Lacey 'Changed The History Of Television For Women'
Garcia never played for the Patriots, missing 2017 with blood clots in his lungs. He lost 40 pounds while out, and was released by the team in March 2018. He’s since spent time on the practice squads of the Indianapolis Colts and Miami Dolphins, but has not played in an NFL game.
What really hurts about the Rivers and Garcia selection is who was drafted between them. At No. 84, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers took receiver Chris Godwin, who has 17 touchdowns and 2,700 receiving yards in his three seasons in the league. Running back Kareem Hunt went to the Chiefs at No. 86.
Verdict: Unfortunate Miss
Rd. 4, No. 131 : Deatrich Wise, DE
Wise has 11.5 sacks in 46 games for New England over the last three seasons. Decent, but just… decent. His playing time has gone down in each of his three seasons, and he played just 23 percent of New England’s defensive snaps in 2019.
Rd. 6, No. 211: Conor McDermott, T
McDermott never played for the Patriots. After two seasons of minimal playing time for the Buffalo Bills, he played seven games for the New York Jets in 2019.
2017 Verdict: What Were We Doing Here?
Cooks was a good pickup before the draft. The Ealy move was worth the risk since it only cost the Patriots a few spots in the draft and they got a look at a former second-rounder who appeared to be improving. But Ealy didn’t mesh with the Patriots defensive system, and was released before the 2017 season.
And since we have the benefit of hindsight, we’ll point out that George Kittle was drafted with the second pick of the fifth round. A lot of people missed on the talented tight end, but he would have looked really good next to Gronkowski instead of … James O’Shaughnessy, who never actually played next to Rob Gronkowski.MORE NEWS: 19-Year-Old In Custody After Lawrence Shooting Leaves 1 Dead
The Patriots needed some youth the fill out their depth, and the 2017 draft did absolutely nothing to accomplish that. It was just a big ole waste of time, really.