Patriots Draft Round-Up
With three fourth-round picks, the Patriots selected Florida State center Bryan Stork, Wisconsin running back James White and Stanford offensive lineman Cameron Fleming. While the team did not have a fifth-round pick, New England had three sixth-round picks in which they chose offensive linemen Jon Halapio and Zach Moore along with defensive back Jemea Thomas. New England's final selection went to Michigan wide receiver Jeremy Gallon as the seventh round draft selection.
With the 105th overall pick, the Patriots picked up Stork, a 6-foot-4, 315 pound center who won the Rimington Trophy in 2013 as the best center in the nation. Quickness, reliability and size are among his greatest attributes while his stiffness and short arms were seen as potential weak-nesses by CBS Sports. While Stork did not participate in the NFL Combine due to injuries, he ran the three-cone drill in 7.90 seconds in addition to benching 225 pounds 21 times during his pro day workout.
In an interview with the Detroit Free Press last week, Stork told reporters that "whatever team picks me up, whatever they need, I'll do it and I'll probably do if for cheaper than the last guy. And I'm just going to learn. If they need to play right away, I will. If they don't, they don't."
The Patriots followed with the selection of White as the team's 130th overall pick. During his time in Wisconsin, White had over 700 carries with only two fumbles. In his collegiate career, the 5-foot-9, 204 pound running back finished first in yards-per-carry, first in receiving yards for a running back, third in rushing touchdowns and fourth in rushing yards in his school's history.
White's addition may mean changes to the current running backs on the Patriots roster. Steven Ridley, who has had ball security troubles in the past two seasons, will be coming to the end of his rookie contract after the 2014 season. The Patriots other top running back, Shane Vereen, is still battling the effects of a wrist injury that occurred during Week 1 in a game against the Bills last season.
The final fourth-round selection went to Stanford's Cameron Fleming. The offensive lineman was chosen as the 140th overall pick. In 2013, the right tackle was appointed as a second team All-Pac 12 selection. According to Stanford's head coach David Shaw, Fleming is known for his quickness and explosive nature.
New England continued to build up their offensive line with the sixth round selections of Jon Halapio, a product out of Florida, and Concordia's Zach Moore. Halapio, the 179th pick, started 43 games during his time with the Gators, mostly in the right guard position. In the 2012 season, the team captain was chosen as the offensive player of the week following the Florida's win against Vanderbilt. 6-foot-5 1/2 defensive end and offensive linebacker Moore was taken with the team's 198th pick. Moore holds his school's record with 33 sacks and six fumbles while also producing three blocked field goals during his time with the Concordia Cobbers.
Georgia Tech's Jemea Thomas was added with the 206th selection. The defensive back was also used as a safety, kick returner and on special-teams coverage throughout his career with the Yellow Jackets. Though a bit undersized, he recorded six sacks, nine interceptions and 13.5 tackles for loss in his four-year starting position.
With the final selection of the weekend, New England added wide receiver Jeremy Gallon as the 244th overall pick. Gallon caught 89 receptions for 1,373 yards and nine touchdowns in his final season with the Wolverines and set the University of Michigan record for most reception yards in a season. He completed his college career as number three on the school's list of all-time re-ceptions with 173 catches along with the third best all-time receiving yards recording 2,704 yards.
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Newswire assembled by Patriots Insider contributor AnneMarie Blanco (Ablanco on the forums). Look for more updates from AnneMarie here at Patriots Insider throughout the offseason.
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