Bill Belichick excited to see what 2018 draft class can do after injury-plagued rookie seasons

Ryan Hannable
April 11, 2019 - 10:56 am

At Bill Belichick's pre-draft press conference Wednesday, the Patriots coach talked extensively about the draft process and selecting players, but he also was quick to point out the 2018 class dealt with a number of injuries, so this will essentially be like a rookie season for many of them.

“Obviously, many of our 2018 draft choices had partial seasons — or minimal, in some cases — so we’re excited to see how those guys will do this year, obviously,” Belichick said. “It’s a hard-working group. Those guys are here on a very consistent basis, and hopefully we’ll get a much longer look at the 2018 draft class than we were able to get last year.”

Of the nine players selected, seven landed on injured reserve at some point during the season. Sony Michel and Keion Crossen were the only two not to.

Offensive tackle Isaiah Wynn, cornerback Duke Dawson, linebacker Christian Sam, wide receiver Braxton Berrios and tight end Ryan Izzo were placed on IR before the start of the season. While Ja'Whaun Bentley was placed on IR after Week 2 and Duke Dawson began the year on IR, but was activated following the bye week, although he didn't play in any games.

Wynn and Bentley are expected to be big contributors in potential starting roles, while the others have a decent chance of making the team.

The Patriots have 12 overall selections in this month's draft, including six in the top 101.

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