FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – On January 21, 1994, Robert Kraft purchased the New England Patriots and announced, “My objective in buying the Patriots is to help bring a championship to New England.” Many of the team’s top draft selections since that time have helped Kraft deliver on that promise and more, with three Super Bowl titles, starting with Kraft’s first draft pick, Willie McGinest, in 1994. In celebration of Kraft’s 20 years of ownership and reaching the AFC Championship game for the ninth time during his reign, McGinest will serve as the Patriots’ honorary captain at Sunday’s AFC Championship Game in Denver. McGinest, a key member of all three of the Patriots Super Bowl wins, will accompany Patriots captains to midfield for the pregame coin toss.
McGinest was a cornerstone of New England’s Super Bowl titles in 2001, 2003 and 2004, after being selected by the Patriots in the first round of the 1994 NFL Draft out of Southern California. He has the honor of being the first draft pick following the purchase of the team by Robert Kraft. McGinest played 11 of his 15 NFL seasons with the Patriots, seeing action in 18 playoff games, four AFC Championship games and four Super Bowls. McGinest eclipsed two NFL postseason records during his time with the Patriots – most sacks in a game with 4.5 in a Wild Card game vs. Jacksonville and career postseason sacks with 16.