Draft Jerseys on display at The Hall

The Patriots, with 12 draft picks, may look to load up on young talent at the 2019 NFL Draft.

Last year’s draft certainly had a Belichick-ian feel. The Patriots phones were busy with the team breaking the franchise record for most draft day trades with 8. Before those 8 Draft Day trades, the Patriots made 9 additional moves during pre-Draft preparation.

Last year, the Patriots made 2 first round selections, taking OL Isaiah Wynn at 23 and RB Sony Michel at 31. The Hall has added both draft jerseys to our collection and they are on display in our Draft exhibit. It was just the third time Belichick has drafted two first rounders in his 19 years at the Patriots helm. He also used a pair of first round picks in 2004 (DT Vince Wilfork at 21 and TE Benjamin Watson at 32) and in 2012 (DE Chandler Jones at 21 and LB Dont’a Hightower at 25).

Although a jersey with the No. 1 on it looks good, it is a combination of subtle moves, trades and late-round gems that can define a Draft.

Tom Brady was famously selected in the sixth round back in 2000 with the 199th pick and his name was etched on an NFL draft card.

Super LIII MVP Julian Edelman was selected even further down the board. Seventh round. Pick No. 232. Four-year pro and team captain David Andrews was not selected in the NFL Draft, but was signed in 2015 as an undrafted rookie free agent.

It is the No. 1s that get the attention, though. So while Tom Brady’s enlarged Draft card is on display in The Hall’s temporary exhibit, it is the No. 1 jerseys handed to Richard Seymour, Jerod Mayo, Devin McCourty, Nate Solder, Chandler Jones, Dont’a Hightower, Jamie Collins, Dominique Easley, Malcolm Brown, Cyrus Jones, Isaiah Wynn and Sony Michel that dominate the display.

“It’s always a fun practice to go back and recall those first round picks as well as the late-round hits,” Hall executive director Bryan Morry said. “The Patriots, like every team, have their hits and misses throughout the Draft, but one thing to note over the years is that it doesn’t matter where a player is drafted or if he is drafted, because Coach Belichick has found players early, late and even with undrafted free agents like Malcolm Butler or Randall Gay.”

You can look back at every player the Patriots have drafted, scrolling through the Patriots all-time draft binder to see which picks hit and which did not – or in Belichick’s era – which ones were traded.

So who will be this year’s No. 1? As Super Bowl Champions, the Patriots are again slated to make the last pick in the first round. The Hall will allow guests to enter our draft pick prediction giveaway. Enter your guess as to who the Patriots will select with their 1st round pick and if you are correct you will be entered for a chance to win a signed photo from the Patriots 2012 1st round pick, Dont’a Hightower. Of course, Patriots head coach Bill Belichick has been known to swing a few Draft day trades so there remains a decent chance the Patriots don’t pick at 32. If that is the case, the first player selected by the Patriots in the 2019 NFL draft will be the winning answer. You can make your prediction at our Draft Exhibit located in the Grand Hall presented by Waters Corp.

The Draft display also allows guests to examine a mockup of the team’s player rating cards and real scouting reports from some Patriots Hall of Famers and NFL legends.

“It’s pretty interesting to see what information is up on the Draft board,” Morry said. “There is an overall grade and some obvious information, but also other information like a 40 time and whether it was verified, hand-timed or run indoors. So that little card can include some important details.”

The Hall’s Draft display will be up through May and, if the Patriots make a first round pick on April 25, it will include the newest No. 1 jersey. So who will it be? Stop by The Hall to get on the record with your guess.

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