New England Patriots
Players Drafted or Originally Signed by the Patriots: 35/53
Breakdown by Round: 1st Round (8), 2nd Round (6), 3rd Round (5), 4th Round (3), 5th Round (4), 6th Round (5), 7th Round (4), UDFA (18)
Best Value Pick: Pretty obvious choice here… Tom Brady
The Patriots are known for stockpiling draft picks, so it should come as no surprise that they ranked first in the AFC East in terms of players drafted or originally signed as undrafted free agents. The current roster is composed of 35 players that were either drafted or initially signed as UDFA by the Patriots, good for 66.0 percent. New England also leads all AFC East teams in most undrafted free agents with 18 players currently on their roster (34.0 percent).
Every second-, third- and seventh-round pick on the roster was drafted by the team.
The Patriots also have the best value pick in the AFC East, and possibly in NFL history, with quarterback Tom Brady. The former Michigan Wolverine was a sixth-round pick in 2000. He has gone on to lead the team to three Super Bowl victories and many personal accolades.
New York Jets
Players Drafted or Originally Signed by the Jets: 27/53
Breakdown by Round: 1st Round (12), 2nd Round (6), 3rd Round (4), 4th Round (4), 5th Round (4), 6th Round (4), 7th Round (5), UDFA (14)
Best Value Pick: Jeremy Kerley, I suppose?
Much like the AFC East draft evaluation, the Jets once again come in last among their AFC East peers. Only 51 percent of the Jets roster was drafted or initially signed by New York. When Rex Ryan first took over as head coach, the front office packaged many picks for veterans. This helps explain the low number of draft picks and undrafted free agents initially signed by the Jets on their roster.
The Jets do lead in one category, and that’s in most first-round picks on a roster with 12. That number could increase to 13 when Mark Sanchez returns from injury, but he will replace Brady Quinn on the list in all likelihood. Of the current 12 first-round draft picks, seven were drafted by the team.
Looking at the Jets’ 53-man roster, it was difficult to find a late-round gem that New York drafted. With 90 career receptions for 1,211 yards and three touchdowns, 2011 fifth-round pick Jeremy Kerley gets the nod. He led the Jets in receptions (56) and receiving yards (827) in 2012.
Looking over each team’s roster, what stands out most to you? Who do you feel is the best late-round draft pick on each team’s current 53-man roster? Share your thoughts below in the comment section.