Bill Belichick: No draft pick is ready on Day 1 as a rookie, except Lawrence Taylor

Bill Belichick says NFL teams need to be ready for an adjustment period for the players they draft next week.

Belichick says that in all his years in the NFL, he only saw one draft pick who arrived fully prepared to handle his job as a professional: Lawrence Taylor.

“Brady didn’t play his rookie year,” Belichick said on the Pat McAfee Show. “You judge Tom Brady after his first year and you have literally nothing — you’re talking about the greatest player that’s ever played. Lawrence Taylor was a different story. Lawrence Taylor from Day One impacted the team, showed he was the best player on the field, way better than everyone else and built a defense around him from that point going forward. . . . It’s usually not Day One of his rookie year. I would say Lawrence Taylor would be the one exception to that rule.”

Belichick was the Giants’ linebackers coach when they drafted Taylor with the second overall pick in 1981. Taylor’s exploits on the practice field in training camp quickly generated attention, he had two sacks in his first preseason game, and by the end of his rookie year he was named not only Defensive Rookie of the Year but also Defensive Player of the Year.

Lawrence Taylors don’t come along very often, and it’s probably safe to say there’s not a Lawrence Taylor in this draft. For every other draft pick, some patience is necessary.


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