Patriots

Patriots have never spent a first-round pick on a receiver during Bill Belichick's tenure

Patriots have never spent a first-round pick on a receiver during Bill Belichick's tenure

The New England Patriots have a reputation for having trouble draft receivers. That's well-earned, to an extent. Since 2009, the Patriots have only drafted one receiver that has panned out long-term, Julian Edelman. Other picks have either failed to live up to expectations or haven't worked out at the NFL level.

However, there is a surprising stat about the Patriots and drafting receivers that may help to explains why so few of the team's draft picks at the position have panned out.

According to NFL Research, in 19 drafts with the Patriots, Bill Belichick has never selected a receiver in the first round. And of the 1,000-yard receivers that Belichick has had during his tenure, they have come only via late-round picks or by trades.

Of course, the caveat here is that Brandin Cooks was acquired in exchange for a first-round pick, so technically speaking, that is using a first-round pick on a receiver. Still, Cooks was a well-established veteran player, so trading a first-round pick for that type of a player is different than drafting an unknown commodity.

That said, it's clear that the Patriots' draft strategy doesn't value receivers that heavily. They tend to settle on mid-to-late-round guys to develop in hopes of making them quality playmakers. They either do that or acquire proven veterans. This makes sense given how hard it is to land quality receivers in the draft.

It will be interesting to see if the Patriots change their draft strategy this year, given their needs for offensive weaponry. They have been scouting receivers and tight ends heavily ahead of the draft, so perhaps they will consider breaking their trend and targeting a new player for Tom Brady to throw to.

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Patriots involved in 3 of top-10 most-watched sporting events of 2019

Patriots involved in 3 of top-10 most-watched sporting events of 2019

Hate them or love them, America has watched the Patriots more than any other team — in any sport — in 2019.

According to sportsmediawatch.com, all 10 of the most-watched sporting events of 2019 were NFL games. No World Series, Stanley Cup Final or NBA Finals games made the list. Of the 10 highest-rated events, three of them included the Patriots. 

Unsurprisingly, the Super Bowl matchup between the Pats and Los Angeles Rams topped the list with more than 100 million viewers including online streams (in parentheses). Both New England's AFC Championship game against the Chiefs and its Division Round contest with the Chargers also cracked the top-10. 

The television ratings suggest that the NFL is still head-and-shoulders above other leagues in popularity, and the Patriots are leading the charge. 

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Tom Brady shuts down random Twitter user questioning his Madden rating

Tom Brady shuts down random Twitter user questioning his Madden rating

Twitter trolls, beware: Tom Brady reads the comments.

EA Sports published its player ratings for "Madden NFL 20" on Monday and gave the New England Patriots quarterback a 96 overall, second among all QBs behind Patrick Mahomes.

Some random guy on Twitter disagreed with this assessment, escalating his hot take to the point of declaring he could run faster than Brady.

Why do we care what "Matt Harrington" thinks of Brady's athleticism? We don't ... but the Patriots QB apparently does.

Here's Brady coming out of left field to put "Matt Harrington" in his place:

Game over, Matt.

Brady obviously is slow by NFL standards but recently ran a 40-yard dash in 5.17 seconds, which is faster than the glacial 5.28-second dash he ran at the 2000 NFL Combine.

It's also faster than the random Twitter troll can probably run, as this guy found out the hard way.

UPDATE (3:30 p.m. ET): Apparently this Twitter troll gave Brady an idea, as the Patriots QB tweeted out some humorous "evidence" of why he deserves a better "Madden" speed rating.

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