Bill Belichick ignored scouts then saw New England Patriots draft pick backfire

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N'Keal Harry was a first-round pick by the Patriots which they'll certainly regret

After two decades of consistent wins, New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick is rightly seen by many as the greatest head coach to ever do it.

But in the recent years since Tom Brady's departure, the Patriots have a 25-25 win-loss record and are struggling to get back to the top. The best way to rebuild a roster will always be through the NFL Draft, with the Patriots nailing their selections for a long time when Brady had been on the team.

But in recent years, this has certainly not been the case. And in one particularly important draft pick, Belichick was said to have ignored his own scouts when selecting a wide receiver.

In the 2019 draft, the Patriots had a number of pass-catching options available with their first-round draft pick, but ended up selecting N'Keal Harry. After three seasons and just four touchdowns, he was traded to the Chicago Bears for a seventh-round pick.

After failing to make the grade with the Bears, he has now signed for the Minnesota Vikings. For the Patriots, they will look back and wonder what they could've had instead after choosing him over Pro Bowlers DK Metcalf, AJ Brown and Deebo Samuel.

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Sports Illustrated reported previously that Belichick had wanted Harry over the aforementioned names above, with franchise owner Robert Kraft hinting at that particular draft pick with their current 'different approach' when it comes to selecting players.

He told reporters: "I don’t feel like we’ve done the greatest job the last few years and I really hope and believe I’ve seen a different approach this year. In the end, it all comes down to what happens on the field and how people execute and you really don’t know how good a draft is for at least two years."

Bill Belichick ignored scouts then saw New England Patriots draft pick backfireBill Belichick

When speaking about why Harry didn't work with the Patriots, Belichick said: "Big, talented kid. Things didn’t really work out here the way that I think all of us hoped for. Everybody tried, it just didn’t work out. I’m sure he’ll be ready to go, and I’m sure he'll play hard.

Not only was Harry a poor draft pick in isolation, but the corresponding moves that they would make would hurt them even further. With Harry largely struggling, the Patriots then gave up a future second-round draft pick for Mohamed Sanu, who would catch just one touchdown in a disappointing stint with the team.

Giving up that pick for another wide receiver, who also did not work out, would certainly hamper the Patriots ability to strengthen - with them needing every pick available to them in their rebuild in the post-Brady era. Harry's new deal with the Vikings likely indicates a last chance to save his career after just five touchdowns in four seasons.

Charlie Wilson

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