Patriots At 46: Another Stephon Tuitt Would Be Ideal

Looking At What Teams Got At Pick 46 from 2011-17 and what it might mean for the New England Patriots
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Everyone knows what type of player the Patriots want to get at pick No. 15 in the first round of the NFL Draft next week: a perennial star.

Whether they trade up or stay where they are, they’re going to want to get someone they can count on — regardless of position — to be a mainstay of the team for at least the better part of the next decade.

For now, the Pats also have a second-round pick at No. 46. It’ll be interesting to see which way they go with this pick after bolstering themselves on defense in free agency. If they go for offense in the first round, do they look for D in the second? Or maybe they’ll continue to add offensive pieces.

There have been successes and misses by teams picking at 46 the past 10 years. Throwing out the last three 46th picks so we can wait and see how they fully develop before judging them, here’s a look at what teams got at 46 from 2011-2017.

2017

QUINCY WILSON, CB

All you need to know about how this pick by Indianapolis didn't work out is that Wilson finished last season on the New York Giants’ practice squad after he was waived by the Jets. The Florida product played 38 and 42 percent of the defensive snaps, his first two seasons with the Colts, respectively. But once they went to a zone-heavy defense he fell down the depth chart. A trade to the Jets didn’t revitalize his career.

2016

A'SHAWN ROBINSON, DT 

This pick didn’t quite pan out for Detroit. The Alabama product and Outland Trophy finalist started just 37 of 66 games in five seasons, and he has yet to match the two sacks he recorded in his rookie season. His stint with the Lions seemed to go off the rails when Matt Patricia took over as head coach. Robinson played in just eight games and 11 percent of the Rams’ defensive snaps last season after he was diagnosed with a heart ailment in the summer.

2015

JAQUISKI TARTT, S

The Samford product has been a perennial starter for San Francisco the past four seasons. He allowed an 89.6 passer rating and a 62.5 completion percentage when targeted last season in seven games — a season shortened by a bout with turf toe. But the 49ers re-signed him to a one-year deal after he spent a week on the free agent market.

2014

STEPHON TUITT, DE

Coming out of Notre Dame highly ranked, Tuitt dropped to the second round possibly because a foot injury and subsequent surgery curtailed his pre-draft performances (he could only perform the bench press at the combine). Pittsburgh kept a keen eye on him, including coach Mike Tomlin visiting with his personally in South Bend, and the legwork paid off for the Steelers. Tuitt is still going strong, recording 11 sacks for Pittsburgh last season. He has started 79 of 91 games and has 34 ½ sacks in seven seasons for the Steelers despite missing most of the 2019 season with a pectoral injury. This is the type of value pick Belichick will be looking for — first-round talent that for one reason or another drops.

2013

KIKO ALONSO, LB

The Oregon product, who had his share of off-field issues in college, had a promising start to his pro career after he was selected by Buffalo and had 159 tackles and two sacks as a rookie. He was named the PFWA Defensive Rookie of the Year. But he missed the entire 2014 season with ACL injury, and didn't ascend to star status. But he had three years as a starter with Miami, with more than 100 tackles in each season, and put in seven years in the NFL, also playing for Philadelphia and New Orleans.

2012

MYCHAL KENDRICKS, LB

It’s safe to say Philadelphia was pleased with this pick out of Cal, as Kendricks had 106 tackles and four fumble recoveries in his second NFL season. He also had four sacks that year (2013) and finished with 14 sacks in six seasons for the Eagles, including the Super Bowl LII championship season. His production slowed late in his term with the Eagles, and then with Seattle and Washington, but he put in a solid nine years in the NFL.

2011

ORLANDO FRANKLIN, RT

A perennial starter after he was selected by Denver, the University of Miami product started 89 of the 90 games he played for the Broncos, San Diego and Washington over seven seasons. He mostly played right tackle but also spent time at left guard. Maybe he didn’t have the star power you’d want to get in the second round, but he was a reliable NFL regular.