For the third time since the 2011 season the New England Patriots are playing in the Super Bowl. Equally impressive, they just played in their sixth straight AFC Championship game. It's incredible that one team can continue it's dominance over such a long period of time, in any sport, not just the NFL.
The nucleus behind these teams of course is head coach Bill Belichick and quarterback Tom Brady. Along with coaching the team, Belichick acts as the teams general manager. He has the first and final say in every move this franchise makes. Can't blame owner Robert Kraft for giving him such power.
It's amazing how the Patriots offense consists of mostly late round draft picks and undrafted players. They use their early round selections to put together a tough stingy defense.
Let's look at the current Patriots team and see how they constructed this roster.
Super Bowl LI Simulation - Patriots vs Falcons
OffenseTom Brady - Easily the best draft pick in NFL history. The Patriots selected Tom Brady in the 6th round of the 2000 draft. Brady is a two time league MVP, four time Super Bowl Champ and has won the Super Bowl MVP three times. Chad Pennington (Jets - 1st rd), Giovanni Carmazzi (49ers - 3rd rd), Chris Redman (Ravens - 3rd rd), Tee Martin (Steelers - 5th rd), Marc Bulger (Saints - 6th Rd), Spergon Wynn (Browns - 6th rd) were all drafted before Brady.
LeGarrette Blount - After going undrafted in the 2010 draft (thanks to his on the field behavior), Blount was signed by the Tennessee Titans and played his first three years with the Tampa Bay Bucs. Blount was brought to New England via a trade back in 2013. He spent a short time with the Steelers in 2014, before resigning with the Patriots. Blount set a Patriots franchise record this season with 18 rushing touchdowns.
Dion Lewis - The Philadelphia Eagles drafted Lewis in the fifth round of the 2011 draft. Some big names drafted ahead him that year were Mark Ingram, Shane Vereen, DeMarco Murray, Stevan Ridley, Bilal Powell and Jacquizz Rodgers. Lewis was traded to the Browns in 2013 but missed the entire season due to a fractured fibula. In 2015 Lewis signed with the Patriots.
Julian Edelman - After not even being invited to the 2009 NFL Combine, the Patriots drafted the Michigan State quarterback with the 27th pick of the 7th round.
Chris Hogan - Hogan played three years of college lacrosse at Penn State, and used his final year of eligibility to played football at Monmouth college. Hogan would go undrafted in 2011, that year he would be signed and released by the 49ers, Giants and Dolphins. After spending three seasons with the Bills, Hogan signed a 3-year deal with the Patriots worth $12 million. Hogan set a Patriots franchise record with 180 receiving yards in a playoff game.
Malcolm Mitchell - Drafted in the 4th round of the 2016 NFL draft by the Patriots, 112th overall.
Danny Amendola - Amendola went undrafted in the 2008 NFL draft. He spent the 2008 season on the Cowboys practice squad, and then signed to the Eagles practice squad in 2009 but was cut that year. Amendola would spend the next four seasons with the St. Louis Rams, before signing a 5-year deal with the Patriots worth $28.5 million. The Patriots signed Amendola just hours after Wes Welker signed with the Denver Broncos.
Rob Gronkowski - Drafted in the 2nd round of the 2010 NFL Draft by the Patriots. Only Jermaine Gresham was drafted ahead of Gronk at the tight end position.
Martellus Bennett - Bennett was drafted by the Cowboys in the second round of the 2008 NFL draft. After spending four seasons in Dallas, a year with the Giants and three seasons in Chicago, the Patriots traded for him in March of 2016.
How the Atlanta Falcons Built a Super Bowl Roster
Offensive LineNate Solder - The Patriots drafted Solder in the first round of the 2011 NFL draft. Solder was drafted 17th overall, and Tyron Smith of the Cowboys was the only offensive lineman selected before him.
Joe Thuney - Drafted 78th overall in the 2016 NFL draft by the New England Patriots.
David Andrews - Andrews went undrafted in the 2015 NFL draft, but was signed by the Patriots a few weeks later.
Shaq Mason - Drafted in the fourth round of the 2015 NFL draft by the New England Patriots.
Marcus Cannon - Drafted in the 5th round of the 2011 NFL draft by the New England Patriots.
DefenseChris Long - Drafted second overall in the 2008 NFL draft by the St. Louis Rams. Long would play eight seasons with the Rams before signing a 1-year deal with the Patriots in 2016.
Malcolm Brown - Drafted in the first round (32nd overall) by the New England Patriots in the 2005 NFL draft.
Trey Flowers - Drafted in the fourth round (101st overall) by the New England Patriots in the 2015 NFL draft.
Rob Ninkovich - Drafted in the fifth round (135th overall) by the New Orleans Saints in the 2006 NFL draft. After playing one season with the Saints and one season with the Dolphins, Ninkovich would sign with the Patriots in August of 2009.
Alan Branch - Drafted in the second round (33rd overall) by the Arizona Cardinals in the 2007 NFL draft. Branch spent four seasons with the Cardinals, two seasons with the Seahawks and a season with the Bills before signing with the Patriots in 2014.
Dont'a Hightower - Drafted in the first round (25th overall) by the New England Patriots in the 2012 NFL draft.
Malcolm Butler - After going undrafted in the 2014 NFL draft, Butler was signed by the Patriots. Later that year Butler made a game saving interception at the goal line in the final minute of Super Bowl XLIX.
Patrick Chung - Drafted in the second round (34th overall) by the New England Patriots in the 2009 NFL draft.
Devin McCourty - Drafted in the first round (27th overall) by the New England Patriots in the 2010 NFL draft.
Logan Ryan - Drafted in the third round (83rd overall) by the New England Patriots in the 2013 NFL draft.