4/12/00-Pats coach Bill Belichick (sp?) at press conf talking about this weekends draft.  staff photo by Nancy Lane.  Saved in photo/thurs & photo4
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Former New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick won't be roaming the NFL sidelines in 2024, but he will be on your television screen. One of the best head coaches of all time will serve as a co-host alongside Pat McAfee during ESPN's coverage of the 2024 NFL Draft, and it should be fascinating to see how he breaks down this class.

The 2024 talent pool is considered to be deep, but that doesn't mean all of these players are going to be immediate-impact guys. In fact, during his recent appearance on "The Pat McAfee Show," Belichick said that he only saw one rookie who showed up at the next level ready Day 1. 

"Brady didn't play his rookie year," Belichick said, via Pro Football Talk. "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 1 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 1 of his rookie year. I would say Lawrence Taylor would be the one exception to that rule."

Belichick was working as the linebackers and as special teams coach for the New York Giants when they selected Lawrence with the No. 2 overall pick in the 1981 NFL Draft. As a rookie, Taylor not only won Defensive Rookie of the Year, but NFL Defensive Player of the Year. His rookie campaign is viewed as one of the best ever, as he recorded 133 tackles and 9.5 sacks. 

Taylor went on to win two Super Bowls with the Giants, make 10 Pro Bowls, win NFL MVP in 1986 and Defensive Player of the Year three separate times. Regarded as one of the best defensive players in NFL history, Taylor was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1999.

While Taylor was clearly a different breed, Belichick's point to McAfee was that going from college to the NFL is an adjustment, no matter how good the player may end up being.