Patriots' NFL Draft woes highlighted by success of Ravens' rookie class

Darren Hartwell
·2 min read

These stats prove Ravens are succeeding where Pats have failed originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston

Patriots head coach Bill Belichick recently claimed New England's rookies are further behind in their development than any first-year class he's had, thanks in part to missed meetings and practices caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

But rookies on other NFL clubs seem to be faring quite well -- especially those on the Patriots' next opponent.

The Baltimore Ravens, like the Patriots, took 10 players in the 2020 NFL Draft. While they selected slightly higher than New England in the first two rounds (No. 28 and No. 55 overall compared to No. 37 and No. 60 for the Patriots), both teams' top five picks fell between No. 28 and No. 101 overall.

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So, which team has made better use of their relatively similar draft selections in 2020? We're guessing you know the answer, and it's not particularly close.

Here's a look at New England and Baltimore's top five picks in the 2020 NFL Draft, ranked by the percentage of their team's snaps they played in Week 9:

NBC Sports Boston Illustration

The Patriots' rookies made a fraction of an impact in Week 9 compared to the Ravens' top first-year players.

Linebacker Anfernee Jennings was the only Patriots player who played at least 10 percent of New England's offensive or defensive snaps in its 30-27 win over the New York Jets.

Meanwhile, the Patriots' two rookie tight ends -- Devin Asiasi and Dalton Keene -- were both inactive Monday night and have combined for exactly one catch in 2020. (For context, J.K. Dobbins and Devin Duvernay have 79 total touches for Baltimore this season.)

To be fair, this list leaves out Patriots sixth-round pick Michael Onwenu, who played every down Monday night as New England's starting right tackle and is one of the biggest steals of the 2020 NFL Draft.

The Patriots' top five draft picks haven't given them much of anything, though, as Dugger leads that group with 24.7% of total defensive snaps played this season.

The Ravens' top draft pick? LSU product Patrick Queen is an NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year candidate with 52 tackles, five quarterback hits, four tackles for loss and two fumble recoveries through eight games.

We won't belabor the point too much. But quality teams are usually able to draft quality players who can make at least a complementary impact in Year One, and the Patriots' failure in that department is part of the reason why they're 3-5.