The New England Patriots struggled this season in large part because of Bill Belichick’s recent shortcomings in the draft. Mac Jones is one of the players who developed poorly under the coach, but Belichick was reportedly not entirely sold on drafting the former Alabama star three years ago.
Jeff Howe of The Athletic published a story on Saturday outlining the ways in which Belichick’s mishandling of the Patriots’ offense resulted in the team becoming one of the worst in the NFL. If drafting Jones was a mistake, however, it cannot be pinned solely on Belichick.
According to Howe, Patriots scouts became frustrated a few years back when they felt Belichick “largely ignored” their input. When former director of player personnel Nick Caserio left to become the general manager of the Houston Texans in 2021, Belichick assured Patriots owner Robert Kraft he would change his draft process and allow New England’s scouting staff to have a bigger say.
Belichick stuck to his word during the 2021 NFL Draft. Howe says Belichick liked Jones as a player, but the coach also would have been content to wait for Davis Mills. New England’s player personnel staff felt strongly about Jones, so Belichick did not want to push back after he promised to take a more collaborative approach