Bill Belichick: Matt Patricia Has Been 'Heavily Involved' in Patriots' Draft Process

Blake SchusterContributor IApril 15, 2021

MINNEAPOLIS, MN - FEBRUARY 04:  New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick and New England Patriots defensive coordinator Matt Patricia during the singing of America the Beautiful on the field prior to  Super Bowl LII on February 4, 2018, at U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, MN.   (Photo by Rich Graessle/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
Rich Graessle/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Fresh off his firing as head coach of the Detroit Lions, Matt Patricia has wasted little time getting back to work with the New England Patriots.

The Pats' former defensive coordinator returned to New England after two-and-a-half disastrous years in Michigan and is apparently entrenched in NFL draft prep with head coach Bill Belichick.

The longtime Patriots coach told reporters on Thursday that Patricia has been one of his most trusted advisers in the run-up to the draft.

“We’ve accumulated a lot of information,” Belichick said (h/t Pro Football Talk's Michael David Smith). “Matt has rejoined us and been heavily involved in the process.”

While Patricia's track record in New England is far better than what he showed he could do in Detroit, his draft picks with the Lions left plenty to be desired. 

Among the notable selections who have yet to pan out, Patricia took running back Kerryon Johnson in the second round of the 2018 draft and linebacker Jahlani Tavai in the second round of the 2019 draft. In 2020 he took cornerback Jeff Okudah and tailback D'Andre Swift with Detroit's first two picks. 

The Patriots hold picks Nos. 15, 46, 96, 120, 122 and 139 in the first four rounds. How the team plans to use them remains a mystery.

What is known, however, is that Patricia's influence will be all over those selections.