Patriots Blunder Drafting Shiny Hood Ornament WR in First Round

Kerry Byrne

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The Super Bowl champion New England Patriots most likely made a rare but huge mistake drafting "Shiny Hood Ornament" wide receiver N'Keal Harry out of Arizona State in the first round. The Cold, Hard Football Facts have proven over the years that first-round WRs almost NEVER work out.

The Shiny Hood Ornament Man Law is one of the foundational tenets of the Cold, Hard Football Facts and no team has proven it better over the years than the dynastic Patriots. You can't understand what wins and loses in the modern NFL without understanding this tenet.

Even those glitzy wide receiver that appear to work out rarely if ever do anything to elevate their team. The Patriots have won consistently over 20 years because they've consistently avoided falling in love with Shiny Hood Ornaments. They've won more than any team in NFL history largely with retreads and castoffs at WR.

However, it pays to keep in mind Rule No. 2 of the Shiny Hood Ornament Man Law, which states:

"You should add a flashy wide receiver only when all the other pieces of a great team are in place: a great driver (the quarterback), some sporty tires that provide plenty of traction (the offensive line and ground game), a powerful motor (the defense) and a great transmission (special teams) that allows you to change gears quickly and effectively."

So, if anything, the Patriots are one of the rare teams who could take a shot at a Shiny Hood Ornament in the first round. Still, don't count on Harry making the Patriots any better. He won't.

Jerry Rice, widely considered the greatest wide receiver of all time, is always singled out as the player who defies the Shiny Hood Ornament Man Law.

Not true. In fact, Rice CONFIRMS the power of the Shiny Hood Ornament Man Law.

Rice was drafted in 1985 by the 18-1 defending champion 49ers, who annihilated Dan Marino and the Dolphins in Super Bowl XIX. This was the best team in 49ers history.

San Francisco's leading receiver in that epic 1984 season was Dwight Clark with 52 catches for 880 yards and 6 TDs. Sounds like a very Patriots-esque WR stat line, doesn't it?

The reality is that the 49ers were never again that good WITH Rice on the field as they were in 1984. And it took the franchise 10 years with the greatest WR of all time to match their point total of 1984 (475) without him.

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