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Patriots take TCU OL Marcus Cannon at No. 138

04.30.11 at 2:14 pm ET
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FOXBORO ‘€” With the 138th overall pick in the NFL draft, the Patriots selected TCU offensive lineman Marcus Cannon.

Cannon, a 6-foot-5, 358-pounder, has played tackle over the course of his college career, but it’s believed he might have some positional versatility, possibly moving to guard at the next level. Many initially believed Cannon to be a second-, or even a first-round pick, but Cannon was diagnosed with non-Hodgkins lymphoma, which was discovered when he went through physicals at the combine. (Reports indicate that it is treatable ‘€” Cannon faces a success rate for beating the cancer of better than 90 percent.)

Cannon is a three-time All-Mountain West Conference selection and a third-team All-American in 2010.

Here’s some video of Cannon at TCU:

Read More: 2011 NFL Draft, Marcus Cannon,

Bill Belichick Q&A, 4/29/11

04.29.11 at 11:47 pm ET
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Patriots coach Bill Belichick just wrapped up his press conference at the conclusion of Day 2 of the NFL draft. Here’€™s the complete transcript of his Q&A with the media:

BB: It’€™s a day of preparation all the way through just trying to go through the second and third round and take a look at the players and the teams and so forth, putting it all together. We had a number of conversations prior to the draft. We really felt like Ras-I Dowling was a good pick for us there. Big corner, good tackler, been in a good program there in Virginia with coach [Al] Groh and Mike London this past year. [He’€™s] a guy that’€™s played in a system pretty similar to what we’€™ve run. Very impressive kid. Then we had a little movement down there, took [Shane] Vereen and then traded back and ended up taking [Stevan] Ridley and [Ryan] Mallet. It seemed like there was some conversation on just about every pick. I can’€™t really remember what all of it was, but again, in the end, we just felt like moving back and picking up the extra pick would enable us to make the Oakland trade, which was kind of ongoing. That’€™s something that we’€™ve been talking about here for a little while with them that finally got consummated. Coming out of the draft with the five players that we have ‘€“ a lineman and three skilled players on offense and a corner on defense ‘€“ and a couple of high picks next year, I feel like we had a pretty decent couple days. And then we’€™ll just go back tonight and try to take a look at what’€™s left on the board and what we have left in the way of picks and keep plugging away and try to find players that can contribute or maybe we think develop on the football team. Still got a long way to go here, but this is where we are for right now.

Q: What specifically drew you to Ryan Mallet?
BB: We just felt like he was a good player. He’€™s had a lot of production. He’€™s won everywhere he’€™s been: high school, college. He did a good job at Michigan. They came in and changed offenses and that was definitely beyond his control. I think he’€™s been a successful, productive quarterback all the way through his career: high school, college. He’€™s an impressive guy to talk to.

Q: What did you think of his arm strength?
BB: Very good. I don’€™t think that’€™s any issue at all. He played a very good offense with Coach Petrino at Arkansas and they do a lot of pro-style type things, so I think he handled that very well as far as throws, accuracy, mechanics, all the mental stuff ‘€“ making changes, adjustments, protections, those things. I’€™d say he’€™s pretty far along relative to some other quarterbacks we’€™ve seen.

Q: No misgivings about the off-field stuff with him? You’€™re comfortable with him?
BB: Obviously we’€™re comfortable with him; we took him.

Q: So far you haven’€™t drafted a pass rusher. Do you feel like you have players here and you don’€™t need to upgrade?
BB: We have some young players on our roster and I think that those players ‘€“ in all the various positions, not just at that specifically ‘€“ but I think younger players will still continue to develop. But there are good players up there on the board and we got the ones that we felt were best for us. There are other players that are good players, too, that went to the other teams. That’€™s the way it always is.

Q: Ryan Mallett led some last minute drives at Arkansas. Does he have those leadership intangibles?
BB:  Yeah. Again, this guy has been very productive. He’€™s been a winning quarterback all the way through his career and he’€™s won a lot of games ‘€“ some at the end, some at the beginning. He’€™s been a very productive guy ‘€“ not just statistically, but more importantly in terms of wins and losses and doing the things it takes for his team to win.
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Read More: 2011 NFL Draft, Bill Belichick,

Bill Belichick: Ryan Mallett ‘definitely a football guy’

04.29.11 at 10:47 pm ET
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FOXBORO ‘€” Shortly after the Patriots selected controversial quarterback Ryan Mallett in the third round of the NFL draft Friday night, New England coach Bill Belichick talked about the acquisition of the former Arkansas quarterback, a player many believed was a first-round talent who slipped down the draft board because of character questions.

‘€œWe just felt like he was a good player. He’€™s won everywhere he’€™s been ‘€” high school, college,’€ Belichick said. ‘€œ[He] did a good job at Michigan. They came in and changed offenses. That was definitely beyond his control. I think he’€™s been a successful, productive quarterback all way through his career, high school, college.’€

Mallett met with the Patriots during the pre-draft process, and Belichick said he came away feeling that the quarterback was ‘€œan impressive guy to talk to.’€

‘€œHe’€™s definitely a football guy. He’€™s a great kid to talk to. He’€™s very into football. You can’€™t wear him out ‘€” as long as you want to talk about it, he’€™ll be there. However many hours it is, he’€™s ready to go watch the next film or go talk about a new technique or read or whatever.

‘€œHis father is a football coach ‘€” he’€™s grown up in a football family. I can definitely relate to that. You either get sick of it or you marry into it and love it. I think he’€™s very much of a football person. Both his parents are educators. He’€™s a kid that’€™s eager to learn and has a great thirst for knowledge for football and for his position ‘€” there’€™s a lot going on there. I think he’€™ll certainly get an opportunity to receive a lot of knowledge about that position here.’€

Read More: 2011 NFL Draft, Bill Belichick, Ryan Mallett,

Pats pick up a second-round pick in 2012 in deal with Oakland

04.29.11 at 9:33 pm ET
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The Patriots have traded the 92nd and 125th overall picks in this year’s draft to Oakland for the Raiders’ seventh-round pick (219th overall) in this draft and a second-round pick in the 2012 draft. That gives New England two first-round picks and two second-round picks in the 2012 draft. Barring another deal, the Patriots will not make another trade on Friday night.

Read More: 2011 NFL Draft,

Patriots pull a shocker, take quarterback Ryan Mallett with 74th overall pick

04.29.11 at 9:21 pm ET
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The Patriots selected quarterback Ryan Mallett with the No. 74 overall pick in the NFL draft on Friday night. Mallett was one of the most polarizing signal-callers available in this year’€™s draft ‘€” he has one of the strongest arms out there, having thrown for almost 4,000 yards this past season with Arkansas. However, Mallett is hounded by character questions, including drug rumors that  reportedly caused his draft stock to fall. The 6-foot-7, 253-pound Mallett had 3,869 yards and 32 touchdowns this past season with the Razorbacks.

Read More: 2011 NFL Draft, Ryan Mallett,

Patriots take LSU running back Stevan Ridley at No. 73

04.29.11 at 9:16 pm ET
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With the 73rd overall pick in Friday’€™s NFL draft, the Patriots selected LSU running back Stevan Ridley out of LSU. The 5-foot-11, 225-pounder is the second running back taken by New England ‘€” the Patriots selected Cal’€™s Shane Vereen at No. 56. Ridley had big numbers as a senior with the Tigers where he compiled 1,147 yards on 249 carries with 15 touchdowns in his only full season as the starting running back. (The 1,147 yards rank as seventh-highest season total in school history, while his 15 rushing TDs tie Kevin Faulk as the fourth-best mark for a season in LSU history.)

Read More: 2011 NFL Draft, Kevin Faulk, Shane Vereen, Stevan Ridley

Cal running back Shane Vereen talks about joining the Patriots

04.29.11 at 9:07 pm ET
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Third-round pick Shane Vereen just wrapped up a quick conference call with the New England media. Here are a few of the highlights ‘€” we’ll have some more from Vereen along shortly.

On being a third-down back…
I think coming in I just see myself as a player just looking for an opportunity to play the game ‘€” any position that they need me in, I’ll be more than willing and enthusiastic to do it.

Describe yourself as a running back…
I would take pride in myself being able to do all things that are called upon for a running back ‘€” catching the ball, pass protection, running the ball. Anything that I’m called upon to do I always take pride on doing that to the best of my ability and being good in all three phases.

Improve the most in one area?
I think the area that I most need to improve in is my pass-protection technique.

What do you think it will take for you to get to that level?
Correct. I think with the coaching I’ll receive in New England and the talent I’ll be surrounded by, I think I’ll come along.

Are you familiar with Kevin Faulk?
Yes, somewhat. … What I remember from watching Kevin Faulk when I was younger is just that he’s a back that did everything. They’ve used him out of the backfield a lot on screens. I believe he was an every down back ‘€” he’s done a lot of things well. That’s all I can really say. I know he’s a very, very talented and successful running back.

Read More: 2011 NFL Draft, Kevin Faulk, Shane Vereen,
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