I haven't read War Room, but I get the sense, particularly from the 2nd-round picks that many find head-scratching in recent years, that Belichick cares less than other GMs about the game theory calculations around where players 'should' be drafted and where other teams have players on their boards. The usual counter-argument on this board when Belichick makes a pick that seems like a reach (e.g. Richards) is that all it takes is one team who wanted that player, and there was at least one such team in the mix for that player. I don't know if that is always true - that depends on Belichick really, really wanting that player, and it appears to me that Belichick is more comfortable than most in accepting that he rarely needs any one player.
The thought process around Belichick's picks strikes me as something like this:
- I have this player evaluated as a 2nd-round talent, and I trust the evaluation that arose from the scouting process that I directed more than what the aggregate draft boards say. He's the best player available on my board, so I'm taking this player now.
- At the same time, I know drafting isn't a perfect science, so whenever possible I'd like to get more picks and get the best player available then, to spread out risk. I'll trade the pick down if I get a good offer for more picks.
and not "can I still get this player I want in the next round if I pick someone else who's a consensus pick at this position first, or if trade down?"