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UPDATE: Patriots Load Up on Defense, Wide Receivers at NFL Draft

Track the New England Patriots 2013 NFL Draft picks.

UPDATE (Saturday, 8 p.m.) - The Patriots were busy on Day 3 of the NFL Draft, selecting TCU wide receiver Josh Boyce in the fourth round and adding two more defensive players in the seventh round Saturday. 

The Pats also traded a seventh round (229th overall) and running back/returner/US Olympic sprinter Jeff Demps to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers for running back LeGarrette Blount. Tampa Bay later traded that pick to the Minnesota Vikings, who selected defensive tackle Everett Dawkins. 

With the 226th overall pick in the draft, the Patriots chose Illinois defensive end Michael Buchanan.

The 6-foot-5, 255-pound defensive end is "an extremely lean edge defender that needs to get bigger and stronger," according to NFL.com.

"He flashes violent hands on the edge, covers a lot of ground off the edge, has one of the better first steps in the class and has shown good motor as a pass-rushing defensive end (7.5 sacks in 2011)," NFL.com reports. "Not to mention, he can handle short-area coverage responsibilities when asked to stand up as a linebacker. That sort of scheme versatility will be valued by NFL teams, but they need to get to find the cause of his poor senior season. His 2012 film suggests he’d be nothing more than a mid-round project, but his lethargic play and struggles disengaging could have been due to losing so much weight before the season started. A strong season could see his stock rebounding back into the second round."

To read Buchanan's profile, click here.

 Then with the 235th overall pick the Patriots went back to the defensive side of the ball, selecting Rutgers inside linebacker Steve Beauharnais - the third Rutgers defender chosen by the Patriots in 2013.

Beauharnais, listed at 6-foot-1, 240 pounds, "won't get the hype of teammate Khaseem Greene, but scouts said he is a solid interior presence against the run, who can find ways of getting into the backfield," according to NFL.com. "While Beauharnais didn't produce as well this year as he did as a senior, he could still find himself as a late round pick to a team needing a run stuffer."

Click here to read Beauharnais' profile. 

Blount comes to Foxborough after three seasons in Tampa Bay. The 6-foot, 247-pound power back has amassed 1,939 yards on 426 carries (4.6 yards) and 13 rushing touchdowns. His best season came in 2010 when he ran the ball 201 times for 1,007 (5-yard average) and six touchdowns. Blount became expendable with the emergence of Doug Martin in Tampa Bay and Demps had told the Pats his focus would be on running track. 

UPDATE (Saturday, 1 p.m.) - After using three of their four draft picks on defense Friday, the Patriots chose to give quarterback Tom Brady another target to throw to with their first pick of Day 3 of the NFL Draft.

With the 102nd overall pick (fourth round) in the 2013 NFL Draft, the Pats selected Texas Christian wide receiver Josh Boyce.

Boyce, is listed at 5-foot-11, 206 pounds and according to NFL.com, ran a 4.38 40-yard dash.

"Boyce's average height and maxed-out frame won't wow scouts, but the quickness and strength that made him a playmaker at the college level makes him a potentially dangerous weapon in the slot, with the possibility of being able to line up on the outside," NFL.com said.

To read Boyce's profile on NFL.com, click here.

UPDATE (Friday 10:10 p.m.) - Eight picks after selecting Rutgers cornerback Logan Ryan, the Patriots chose Ryan's teammate, safety Duron Harmon with the 91st overall pick in the the third round.

This is the second straight year the Patriots brass went off the radar to select a safety. Last April, the Patriots used a second round selection to pick Tavon Wilson, safety out of Illinois.

The 6-foot, 198-pound safety did not attend the 2013 NFL Combine, according to ESPN.com.

With the selection of Harmon, the Patriots conclude day two of the NFL Draft. New England made four selections in rounds two and three Friday, choosing three defensive players (linebacker Jamie Collins, cornerback Logan Ryan and Harmon) and one wide receiver (Aaron Dobson).

The Patriots wrap up the NFL Draft Saturday with four picks. The team owns one selection in the fourth round (102nd overall) and three in the seventh round (226, 229 and 235).

UPDATE (9:45 p.m.) - The Patriots used their first pick of the third round (83rd overall) to select Rutgers cornerback Logan Ryan to add depth to the team's secondary.

NFL.com says "teams that value physicality and tackling ability from their corners will surely like Ryan. He's an active, physical player that often finds himself around the football. He's not the fastest, and will need to clean up his technique in order to be successful at the next level, but he is still likely to be a second-day selection."

And he was for the New England Patriots.

To read his profile, click here.

UPDATE (8:30 p.m.) - After taking Jamie Collins (OLB, Southern Miss) with the 52nd overall pick in the 2013 NFL Draft, the Patriots selected Aaron Dobson, wide receiver out of Marshall.

Former Patriots running Kevin Faulk announced the selection Friday night at Radio City Music Hall in New York City.

Dobson, according to NFL.com, has been highly regarded as the most promising pro receiver prospect from Marshall since former New England Patriots deep threat Randy Moss. Dobson has caught 15 touchdowns over the past two seasons and while he may not have Moss’ talent, he still possesses qualities that will likely see him selected in the first 100 picks.

Dobson is considered to be the potential deep threat in the Patriots' offense the team has been missing and will give quarterback Tom Brady a big target to throw to. Dobson checks in at 6-foot-3 and 210 pounds.

As for Dobson's strengths, NFL.com reports the receiver presents a tall, long build prototypical of outside vertical receivers.

"Runs a bit high but has a fair three-step game off the line. Ankle flexion to create separation on comeback patterns. Possesses strong hands, length, and good concentration to snatch high and wide passes. Tracks the ball well over his shoulder and makes acrobatic one-handed catches. Can make a catch with a defender draped on him. Difficult for smaller cornerbacks to drag him down, as he will churn through contact to get the extra yardage. Able to free himself off press coverage using his hands."

Weaknesses of the wide receiver's game, according to NFL.com, include:

  • Hasn’t faced many top-level defenders during his career.
  • Owns strider’s speed, and NFL corners will make it more difficult for him to get into his routes.
  • Not a burner, will have trouble creating consistent separation.
  • The inconsistency of his blocking technique requires some work; he has the size to be effective but regularly hesitates to make contact, overextends, and fails to sustain against much smaller targets on the outside.

To read Dobson's profile, click here.

ORIGINAL STORY - Jamie Collins, outside linebacker of Southern Mississippi is headed to Foxborough.

The New England Patriots selected Southern Mississippi outside linebacker Jamie Collins with the 52nd overall pick in the second round of the NFL Draft Friday night at Radio City Music Hall in New York City. Former Patriots running back Kevin Faulk announced the selection.

Collins, according to NFL.com, is a versatile defensive end/linebacker hybrid that racked up 20 tackles for loss (10 sacks) for Southern Miss during his first-team All-Conference USA senior season. NFL.com profile says while “he’s not an elite pass rush talent and is still growing into his fame, he presents scouts with surprising agility for his size and the length to be an effective 3-4 backer capable of doing a bit of everything, with untapped potential as a mid-round pick.”

Among Collins’ strengths, the linebacker “presents a long, lean frame that NFL teams look for in a stand-up pass rusher,” according to NFL.com. “Quick feet and long strides help him close on quarterbacks, move down the line to crash on runs, as well as give him the short-area agility to move in coverage with slot receivers for short periods despite his height and length. Capable of shedding in either direction to contain or fill a gap. … Has the length to wrap up ball-carriers trying to avoid him in the backfield, as well as grab backs running away from him.”

Among Collins’ weaknesses, he reportedly lacks “sand in his pants and upper-body strength to be an every-down defensive end against NFL tackles,” according to NFL.com. Collins “gets consistently pushed back by double teams. Inconsistent coming off the snap quickly, at times looking like he can beat tackles with a strong first step but being among the last moving on other plays.”

To view Collins complete profile, click here.

The Patriots are back on the clock shortly with the 59th pick of the second round.

Here’s a breakdown of the Patriots picks:

Round 2, Pick 52 - Jamie Collins, OLB Southern Miss

Round 2, Pick 59 - Aaron Dobson, WR Marshall

Round 3, Pick 83 - Logan Ryan, CB Rutgers

Round 3, Pick 91 - Duron Harmon, S Rutgers

Round 4, Pick 102 - Josh Boyce, WR TCU

Round 7, Pick 226 - Michael Buchanan, DE Illinois

Round 7, Pick 235 - Steve Beauharnais, ILB Rutgers 

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