Brandon Spikes was a two-time first-team All-American at Florida and figured he was sure to be a first-round draft pick. But Spikes ended up lasting until late in the second round before the Patriots took him 62nd overall.
Spikes blames his fall on his 40-yard dash time, and he credits Bill Belichick for being the one coach willing to take a chance on a productive player who was a step slow.
“I felt like it was overlooked. Bill gave me a chance and I play hard every day,” Spikes said today. “I think it was all about the 40 yards in a straight line. It is what it is. I’m not regretting anything that happened.”
That 40-yard dash appeared to hurt Spikes’ draft stock significantly. At the time, draft analyst Mel Kiper said, “Brandon Spikes had a high grade, then he runs the 5.0-flat 40, and I think that was an issue. . . . He had great productivity, really an instinctive kid, but that 40 time really threw a lot of people off.”
Paying attention to that great productivity, more than the 40-yard straight-line run, paid off well for Belichick.