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Bill Belichick’s draft rules: ‘Smart, tough, dependable” players

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Patriots coach talks about what he looks for

Super Bowl LI - New England Patriots v Atlanta Falcons
Bill Belichick
Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

Bill Belichick and the New England Patriots have won five Super Bowl titles and have gotten their seven times. So, with the NFL Draft approaching perhaps it would be a good idea for teams like the New York Giants to take notes on the kind of players Belichick looks for in the draft.

Via SB Nation’s Pats Pulpit:

“For me, tough, smart, dependable,” Belichick said, via ESPN’s Mike Reiss. “That’s where I would start. Tough -- mentally and physically. Smart -- good decisions, good football understanding, high football IQ. Dependable -- [in] critical situations, you can count on those players to perform under pressure. You can count on those players to execute what you want to execute as a team. The tougher the game, the more critical the game, the more important the situation, the more I want the tough, smart, dependable player in the game, in the eye of the storm, making a decision that needs to be made for us to win.”

Pats Pulpit goes on to say that Belichick values availability more than ability. That would mean staying away from injury-prone players. Belichick’s rules also imply valuing character, intelligence and football instincts above athletic gifts.

There are many times when teams get enthralled by how fast a guy can run or how high he can jump and ignore the film, the character concerns or the injury history. Perhaps, considering his success, Belichick’s words should be taken to heart as teams go through the upcoming draft.