2014 DRAFT GUIDE
Patriots movin' on up in first round of NFL draft

By JIMMY GOLEN - AP Sports Writer
    2012-04-27 00:02

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. (AP) - The New England Patriots traded up twice in the first round of the NFL draft to add a couple of players to the defense that allowed the New York Giants to march down the field for the winning score in the Super Bowl.

The Patriots sent the No. 27 overall pick, which they'd obtained in a deal with New Orleans, and a third-rounder to Cincinnati for the 21st pick and used it to take Syracuse defensive end Chandler Jones. Then they traded the No. 31 pick to Denver with a fourth-rounder for the No. 25 pick they used to take Alabama linebacker Dont'a Hightower.

``As usual, the draft always takes some interesting twists and turns,'' coach Bill Belichick said Thursday night after the NFL wrapped up the first round of the draft. ``You just never know how it's going to go.''

The trades left New England with two second-round picks - 48th and 62nd overall - and nothing in the five rounds after that.

``As the players came off the board, we were able to execute a couple trades there and still hang onto our two second round picks,'' Belichick said. ``I thought if we moved up I wasn't sure that we would be able to do that, but it worked out that way.''

Despite winning the AFC title and reaching the Super Bowl for the fifth time in 11 years, the Patriots defense allowed the second-most yards overall and in pass defense last season. The problems were never more apparent than in the Super Bowl, when Eli Manning drove the New York Giants 88 yards for the game-winning touchdown.

Jones and Hightower could be a big help.

Hightower, who is 6-foot-4 and 260 pounds, played for Belichick buddy Nick Saban on Alabama teams that won the NCAA championship twice in the past three years. He was a leader of the unit that led the nation in rushing defense, allowing 72 yards per game, and total defense (183 yards per game).

Hightower, 22, was a finalist for the Bednarik, Butkus and Lombardi awards and a first-team All-America selection.

``Hightower has been in a great program for a great coach,'' Belichick said. ``They won a couple of national championships and (he) has been the signal caller, leader of that defense.''

Both he and Jones are considered versatile players who can fit into a variety of defensive systems.

``I'm going to get to the ball and I'm going to make plays,'' said Hightower, who had 40 tackles and 45 assists to go with four sacks as a senior last year. ``Regardless of whether it's a 4-3 or a 3-4 defense.''

The Patriots scouted both of them at the NFL combine. When they were in Indianapolis, Jones and Hightower met and fantasized about winding up on the same team - even though it was unlikely for the two potential first-round picks.

``It actually happened,'' said Jones, who is 6-foot-5 and 265 pounds. ``So I can't wait to see him tomorrow.''

Jones, 22, was an All-Big East selection as a senior who had 38 tackles, 30 of them solo, and led the team with 4.5 sacks. He was the conference's defensive player of the week after recording six solo tackles, including two sacks for a loss of 19 yards, against West Virginia on Oct. 21.

Jones' brother is Jon ``Bones'' Jones, a mixed martial arts fighter. Another brother, Arthur, is a defensive end for the Baltimore Ravens.

``Arthur has taught me a lot going through this whole draft process,'' Chandler Jones said. ``He was basically telling me that the way I carry myself off the field, I'm not just representing myself, I'm representing the organization. I feel like having a brother that's in the NFL is a great advantage.''

Fantasy Football Player Notes RSS FeedPLAYER NOTES

Jake LockerOct 23 01:32p

Tennessee Titans QB Jake Locker (thumb) will return to the starting quarterback job when he is healthy, according to head coach Ken Whisenhunt. The team has decided to start [ More ]

Calvin JohnsonOct 23 01:32p

Detroit Lions WR Calvin Johnson (ankle) has been more encouraged about the progress of his high right ankle sprain this week, even though he's been limited in practices so [ More ]

James StarksOct 23 01:22p

Green Bay Packers RB James Starks (ankle) is participating in practice Thursday, Oct. 23.

Jamaal CharlesOct 23 01:12p

Kansas City Chiefs RB Jamaal Charles (head) will participate in practice Thursday, Oct. 23, and the team does not plan on adding him to their injury report.

Jadeveon ClowneyOct 23 12:42p

Houston Texans LB Jadeveon Clowney (knee) said he would be surprised if he does not play in Week 8.

J. BabineauxOct 23 12:22p

Atlanta Falcons DT Jonathan Babineaux (foot) did not participate in practice Thursday, Oct. 23. LB Prince Shembo (knee) was limited during practice, while OG Justin Blalock (back) fully participated in practice.

Reggie WayneOct 23 12:12p

Indianapolis Colts WR Reggie Wayne (elbow) is not participating in practice Thursday, Oct. 23.

Ezekiel AnsahOct 23 12:03p

Detroit Lions DE Ziggy Ansah (toe) was limited during practice Thursday, Oct. 23, while RB Theo Riddick (hamstring) fully participated in practice.

Brian CushingOct 23 11:42a

Houston Texans LB Brian Cushing (knee) has had his knee drained multiple times over the last few weeks, according to a source. The team hopes that rest will help heal the knee.

Toby GerhartOct 23 10:42a

Jacksonville Jaguars RB Toby Gerhart (foot) appears ready to return in Week 8, in the opinion of beat writer Hays Carlyon. The team contends they will mix and match running backs.

Brandon PettigrewOct 23 10:23a

Detroit Lions DE Ziggy Ansah (toe) returned to practice Thursday, Oct. 23. TE Joseph Fauria (ankle), OT LaAdrian Waddle (calf) and TE Brandon Pettigrew (foot) sat out of practice.

Calvin JohnsonOct 23 10:12a

Detroit Lions WR Calvin Johnson (ankle) did a lot more in practice Thursday, Oct. 23, as he was cutting and running routes.

Reggie BushOct 23 10:12a

Detroit Lions RB Reggie Bush (ankle) is not practicing Thursday, Oct. 23.

Nate WashingtonOct 23 09:41a

The Tennessee Titans have been fielding calls from teams for WR Nate Washington, who recently lost his starting job to WR Justin Hunter. Washington is in the final year [ More ]

Derek MoyeOct 23 02:33a

The St. Louis Rams auditioned free-agent WR Skye Dawson (Buccaneers) and WR Derek Moye on Tuesday, Oct. 21. Moye was eventually claimed by the Tennessee Titans on Wednesday, Oct. 22.

Larry DonnellOct 23 01:03a

New York Giants TE Larry Donnell is just scratching the surface, according to tight ends coach Kevin M. Gilbride. Some of his mistakes, including fumbles and blocking deficiencies, are [ More ]

Geoff SchwartzOct 23 01:03a

New York Giants OG Geoff Schwartz (toe) is destined to return to practice next week, but he still has a ways to go before he is ready for a [ More ]

Eli ManningOct 23 01:03a

New York Giants QB Eli Manning has completed 65 percent of his passes, which would be a career high. He also has 14 touchdown passes to just five interceptions, [ More ]

Odell Beckham Jr.Oct 23 01:03a

New York Giants WR Odell Beckham Jr. might be moved around over the final nine games, according to receivers coach Sean Ryan. He said Wednesday, Oct. 22, that he [ More ]

Rueben RandleOct 23 01:03a

New York Giants WR Rueben Randle could be used in the slot over the final nine games, as the team works to replace WR Victor Cruz (knee). 'The other [ More ]

Trent RichardsonOct 23 12:53a

Indianapolis Colts RB Trent Richardson (hamstring) said Wednesday, Oct. 22, that he expects to play in the Week 8 game against the Pittsburgh Steelers. He was injured in the [ More ]

R. Griffin IIIOct 22 11:43p

Updating a previous report, there is no chance Washington Redskins QB Robert Griffin III (ankle) plays in the Week 8 game against the Dallas Cowboys Monday, Oct. 27, multiple sources said Wednesday, Oct. 22.

Zach MettenbergerOct 22 11:03p

The Tennessee Titans plan to start QB Zach Mettenberger in Week 8 against the Houston Texans, a source familiar with the situation said Wednesday, Oct. 22. Indications are Mettenberger [ More ]

Jake LockerOct 22 10:53p

Tennessee Titans QB Jake Locker (thumb) is in the final year of his contract after the team declined to pick up a fifth-year option. He is reportedly making progress [ More ]

LaMarr WoodleyOct 22 10:53p

Oakland Raiders DE LaMarr Woodley (biceps) suffered a torn biceps in the Week 7 game against the Arizona Cardinals, a source said Wednesday, Oct. 22. It is believed his season is over.

Brian CushingOct 22 10:03p

Houston Texans LB Brian Cushing (knee) will miss at least a week due to his knee injury. The ailment has been bothering him for the past two games.

Justin TuckOct 22 09:43p

Oakland Raiders TE David Ausberry (foot), CB Keith McGill (groin), CB Carlos Rogers (knee), DE LaMarr Woodley (biceps) and FS Usama Young (knee) did not practice Wednesday, Oct. 22. [ More ]

Bobby WagnerOct 22 08:03p

Seattle Seahawks SS Kam Chancellor (ankle), DT Jordan Hill (ankle), CB Byron Maxwell (calf), C Max Unger (foot) and LB Bobby Wagner (toe) did not practice Wednesday, Oct. 22. [ More ]

Zach MillerOct 22 08:03p

Seattle Seahawks FB Derrick Coleman (foot) and TE Zach Miller (ankle) did not practice Wednesday, Oct. 22, and they have been ruled out for Week 8 against the Carolina Panthers.

Frostee RuckerOct 22 06:53p

Arizona Cardinals DE Calais Campbell (knee) and TE Troy Niklas (ankle) did not practice Wednesday, Oct. 22. S Rashad Johnson (knee) was limited, while DE Frostee Rucker (calf) practiced in full.

Johnathan JosephOct 22 06:53p

Houston Texans LB Brian Cushing (knee), CB Johnathan Joseph (knee), CB Darryl Morris (ankle), LB Brooks Reed (groin), LB John Simon (ankle) and LB Jeff Tarpinian (knee) did not [ More ]

Cyrus GrayOct 22 06:33p

Kansas City Chiefs WR Donnie Avery (groin) has been ruled out for Week 8 against the St. Louis Rams. WR Junior Hemingway (hamstring) and CB Christopher Owens (knee) did [ More ]

RSS Feeds

NFL News:
 
Player Notes:
 
Forum Posts:
 

© 2014 RealTime Fantasy Sports, Inc.
Email Us  ·  Call Us 636.447.1170  ·  Lost Password
Advertising represented by USA Today Sports Media Group