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

Deone BucannonJul 24 11:32a

Arizona Cardinals S Deone Bucannon was not dropped into the starting lineup during offseason workouts, as the team has faith in FS Tony Jefferson and FS Rashad Johnson. He [ More ]

Ray RiceJul 24 11:31a

Baltimore Ravens RB Ray Rice will be suspended for the first two games of the season, according to sources. The announcement is expected Thursday, July 24.

Blake BortlesJul 24 11:22a

Jacksonville Jaguars QB Blake Bortles' lower-body mechanics likely will be revised. Bortles' flaw has been over-reliance on his right arm when throwing; he doesn't use his legs enough. A [ More ]

Mikel LeshoureJul 24 11:14a

Detroit Lions RB Mikel Leshoure is currently believed to be the fourth tailback on the club behind RBs Reggie Bush, Joique Bell and Theo Riddick heading into training camp [ More ]

Justin BlackmonJul 24 10:53a

Jacksonville Jaguars WR Justin Blackmon was arrested for possession of marijuana Wednesday, July 23, in Oklahoma.

Jordan PalmerJul 24 10:52a

Chicago Bears QB Jordan Palmer still has the first shot at winning the backup quarterback job, according to head coach Marc Trestman.

R. Griffin IIIJul 24 10:22a

Washington Redskins QB Robert Griffin III's designed running plays might be 'few and far between,' according to head coach Jay Gruden. He still has the green light to scramble [ More ]

Daniel FellsJul 24 09:42a

New York Giants TE Daniel Fells has received the first snap in 11-on-11 drills during the team's two days in training camp. Kellen Davis and Adrien Robinson have [ More ]

Ahmad BradshawJul 24 08:33a

Indianapolis Colts RB Ahmad Bradshaw (neck) has been cleared to practice. Bradshaw is an RB4, but he could be worth more if Trent Richardson fails to produce again.

Roddy WhiteJul 24 08:33a

Atlanta Falcons WR Roddy White signed a four-year extension with the team that will keep him under team control for the next five years, according to sources.

Donald ThomasJul 24 08:33a

Indianapolis Colts TE Dwayne Allen (hip) and OG Donald Thomas (quadriceps, biceps) have been cleared to practice.

Josh GordonJul 24 08:23a

Cleveland Browns WR Josh Gordon will have his appeal hearing for his one-year suspension Aug. 1.

Greg OlsenJul 24 01:43a

Carolina Panthers TE Greg Olsen said he is tired of hearing criticism about Carolina's new receiving corps, which is largely made up of journeymen and unproven commodities. Olsen added [ More ]

Aldon SmithJul 24 01:13a

San Francisco 49ers LB Aldon Smith is expected to meet with NFL commissioner Roger Goodell in the near future, which likely would lead to a decision on any discipline for Smith.

Anthony BarrJul 23 11:23p

Minnesota Vikings LB Anthony Barr was with the team for just a few days during offseason workouts due to NFL rules. Head coach Mike Zimmer is eager to see [ More ]

Sharrif FloydJul 23 11:23p

Minnesota Vikings DT Sharrif Floyd had a good offseason, but head coach Mike Zimmer thinks the defensive tackle is trying to be too fine. 'Sharrif has a lot of [ More ]

C. PattersonJul 23 11:23p

Minnesota Vikings WR Cordarrelle Patterson will remain on kickoff returns despite an expanded role in the offense this season. 'We want our best players to get their hands on [ More ]

Montell OwensJul 23 11:23p

Detroit Lions FB Montell Owens has company, as the team will employ a more traditional fullback in the offense. They signed FB Jed Collins for the role. Owens is [ More ]

Harrison SmithJul 23 11:23p

Minnesota Vikings safeties Jamarca Sanford and Andrew Sendejo will be battling during training camp and the preseason for the starting job opposite FS Harrison Smith. 'That will be interesting, [ More ]

Matt CasselJul 23 11:23p

Minnesota Vikings QBs Teddy Bridgewater and Matt Cassel saw a majority of the snaps during spring workouts, but QB Christian Ponder has a chance to start, and head coach [ More ]

Chad GreenwayJul 23 11:23p

Minnesota Vikings LB Chad Greenway could be used as the starting middle linebacker, according to head coach Mike Zimmer. 'It's a possibility. We keep working him in there. We're [ More ]

Troy NiklasJul 23 10:23p

Arizona Cardinals TE Troy Niklas (hand) has been cleared to participate in training camp, and was working Wednesday, July 23.

Dan WilliamsJul 23 10:23p

Arizona Cardinals NT Dan Williams will open training camp as the team's starting nose tackle with NT Alameda Ta'amu (knee) on the Physically-Unable-to-Perform (PUP) list.

Johnny ManzielJul 23 10:23p

Cleveland Browns head coach Mike Pettine thinks QB Johnny Manziel needs to increase dedication to earn the starting job. 'I think he knows that in order to compete well, [ More ]

Theo RiddickJul 23 10:23p

Detroit Lions RB Theo Riddick has the chance to break into the rotation at tailback, and he has drawn considerable praise from his teammates and coaches for his development [ More ]

Joique BellJul 23 10:23p

Detroit Lions RB Joique Bell (nee) missed most of the offseason due to a knee injury, although he has said his condition is minor and he expects to be [ More ]

Jed CollinsJul 23 10:23p

The Detroit Lions are re-incorporating the traditional fullback into their new offensive scheme this season, and that's why they went out and signed FB Jed Collins.

Cheta OzougwuJul 23 07:23p

New Orleans Saints DE Cheta Ozougwu (undisclosed) cleared waivers and was transferred to the Saints' Reserve/Injured list Wednesday, July 23.

Billy WinnJul 23 06:53p

The Cleveland Browns placed OL Chris Faulk (undisclosed), DE Billy Winn (undisclosed) and LB Tank Carder (undisclosed) on the non-football injury list Wednesday, July 23.

Kyle OrtonJul 23 06:33p

Free-agent QB Kyle Orton (Cowboys) does not want to retire and wants to play in 2014, according to Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones.

Conner VernonJul 23 06:23p

The Cleveland Browns placed CB Royce Adams, LB Brandon Magee and WR Conner Vernon on the no-recall waivers list Wednesday, July 23.

Terrance WestJul 23 06:23p

Updating a previous report, Cleveland Browns RB Terrance West (undisclosed) said on his Twitter page that he passed his conditioning test and people need to 'stop making up your [ 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