Saturday, April 27, 2013

Pats get defensive, strengthen Rutgers connection


After a quiet Thursday, the New England Patriots got busy Friday. Particularly on defense.

A day after acquiring four picks from the Minnesota Vikings with its lone first-round selection, New England drafted a linebacker and two defensive backs with 75 percent of its second-day choices. (photo: Peter Roan, Flickr)

First up was Southern Mississippi outside linebacker Jamie Collins, who was the Patriots' first overall selection at No. 52. And after nabbing a wideout seven spots later, New England picked up a pair of Rutgers defensive backs in cornerback Logan Ryan and safety Duron Harmon at 83 and 91 overall, respectively.

“I think there was a lot of depth in the third round,” Patriots coach Bill Belichick said, via the team's website. “There were still a number of interesting prospects that were still on the board. There’s plenty of playing quality in that second, third, fourth round.”

The Patriots have a strong pro-to-college connection with Rutgers, as Ryan's predecessor in college, Devin McCourty, is a co-captain and starting defensive back in New England.

“The reason why Rutgers guys have success with the Patriots is because we’re built to play football on the field, but live like a professional off the field," Ryan said. "That’s something we’re taught and that I’m going to bring to the Patriots organization and help contribute."

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