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Michael Buchanan: Pats ‘already feel like brothers to me’

04.27.13 at 8:28 pm ET
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FOXBORO — Defensive end Michael Buchanan has realized a lifelong dream in a place he’s always wanted to be.

“It’s a great feeling, it’s a great feeling,” Buchanan said in a conference call at Gillette Stadium after becoming New England’s first of two seventh round picks on Saturday. “This was a childhood dream of mine with an organization I always wanted to be with, so it’s definitely a great feeling. It’s truly a blessing.

Patriots coach Bill Belichick flew out to Illinois this month to meet with the defensive end who also played outside linebacker with the Illini.

So, he had some idea he might be selected by the Patriots.

“Obviously, I did the Senior Bowl and the Combine and everything,” Buchanan said. “I did a bunch of different interviews. I had a workout with the defensive line coach. I feel like I did a good job; well, obviously I think I did a pretty good job of that. That was pretty much it.”

Buchanan is reunited with Tavon Wilson, the defensive back from Illinois the Patriots drafted last season. What does he think of coming to an organization that has some players you know?

“It’s great. It’€™s great to be able to come in and kind of have some guys that I know and already feel like brothers to me,” he said. “I’€™m at an advantage to have that, as far as me getting acclimated and everything and being in a new organization. It’s definitely a great feeling.”

Speaking of family that’s who he spent the day with when he got the news.

“I was with my family,” Buchanan said. “My whole family was with me. I’€™m still with them right now. They’€™re excited for me. I’€™m excited. I’€™m just at home with my family.”

Here is the rest of the transcript from Saturday. Read the rest of this entry »

Patriots select their third Rutgers product, take LB Steve Beauharnais with final pick

04.27.13 at 6:51 pm ET
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FOXBORO — The Patriots continued in their theme of selecting Rutgers products by closing out the draft and picking inside linebacker Steve Beauharnais with the 235th pick overall. Beauharnais joins defensive backs Logan Ryan and Duron Harmon as draft picks who played their college ball at Rutgers.

Beauharnais didn’t receive the same attention as teammate Khaseem Greene, but scouts consider Beauharnais a solid interior presence against the run, who can find ways of getting into the backfield.

Beauharnais is considered solid and durable, with good strength in his upper and lower body. Scouts say he plays with good pad level and bend between the tackles, making him able to take on running backs and approaching blockers in the hole.

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Patriots select Illinois DE/OLB Michael Buchanan in seventh round

04.27.13 at 6:30 pm ET
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FOXBORO — With the 226th pick in the seventh round of the draft on Saturday, the Patriots selected defensive end/linebacker Michael Buchanan out of Illinois. The 6-foot-5, 255-pounder had 161 tackles, 26 tackles for losses, and 14 sacks in 46 career games as a collegian at Illinois.

According to two sources, Patriots coach Bill Belichick flew out of Illinois earlier this month to put Buchanan through a workout. He does come with some baggage — he was involved in an off-field altercation recently that left him with a DUI charge broken jaw, which resulted in a 20-pound weight loss. Known for his versatility, he likely projects as an outside linebacker in the NFL.

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In Focus: Examining Patriots swap of Jeff Demps for LeGarrette Blount

04.27.13 at 4:39 pm ET
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FOXBORO — The Patriots brought the Jeff Demps era to an unceremonious end on Saturday, shipping the Olympic silver medalist and a seventh-round pick to Tampa Bay for running back LeGarrette Blount.

The 5-foot-7, 175-pound Demps, who was signed late last summer by the Patriots but suffered a (ahem) season-ending injury that caused him to spend the year on injured reserve, made noise recently about possibly splitting time between track and football. This likely didn’€™t go over well in New England — last month, Demps explained what he would say to Bill Belichick if the Patriots’€™ coach asked him about doing both football and track.

‘€œListen coach, I want to do both, but in order for me to get to where I want to be on the track and field side, it’€™ll take a full year of preparation,’€ Demps told Sports Talk Florida. ‘€œAnd after the season, if you guys are willing to let me come back ‘€” you know, probably midseason ‘€” and work out and train and get ready for the season, I’€™ll be able to do that. If not, then I guess I’€™ll just focus on running.’€

With that — in addition to the recent pickup of veteran man Leon Washington — it’€™s hardly a surprise that the Patriots decided to make the deal they did. It’€™s also not a surprise that New England dealt him to Tampa Bay: Greg Schiano has been in charge of the Bucs for just over a year, but he and Belichick have been pals dating back to Schiano’€™s time at Rutgers, and they’€™ve shown a proclivity to work out deals in the past. The Patriots picked up former Tampa Bay tight end Kellen Winslow off the scrap heap last year for a cup of coffee, and New England and the Bucs swung a deal that brought cornerback Aqib Talib to the Patriots last season.

As for how this impacts New England, Blount is an intriguing addition to an already full-house backfield. At 6-feet and 247 pounds, the 26-year-old Blount is a big, physical back in the mold of Brandon Bolden. (As a result, if he’€™s healthy coming into the 2013 season, he could battle with Bolden for playing time.) He’€™s a between-the-tackles runner who put up some good numbers — as a rookie in 2010, he rushed for a career-best 1,007 yards on 201 carries, adding six touchdowns.

However, his production has dropped off dramatically over the last two seasons, to a point where he had 151 yards on 41 carries this past season in Tampa Bay. (To be fair, some of that could be because of the recent emergence of Doug ‘€œMuscle Hamster’€ Martin, who got the bulk of the carries last year and finished the season with 319 carries for 1,454 yards.) This spring, he signed a one-year, $1.75 million deal with the Bucs that contained no guaranteed money.

Ultimately, in the eyes of the Patriots, it allows them to get rid of a meddlesome issue involving Demps in exchange for the chance to build some depth at running back with no long-term financial ramifications. A win-win in New England.

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Pats trade Jeff Demps, 7th round pick to Tampa Bay for RB LeGarrette Blount

04.27.13 at 4:22 pm ET
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FOXBORO — The Jeff Demps era in Foxboro is over before it ever really began.

The Patriots have dealt the former Olympic track star and a seventh round pick (No. 229 overall) to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers for running back LeGarrette Blount. The deal leaves New England with two seventh round picks.

Ironically, Demps made his Patriots debut in the preseason last August against Tampa Bay after being signed as an undrafted free agent.

Demps skipped the 2012 NFL Combine and Draft in favor of preparing for the Olympics. However, he attracted interest from NFL teams after the Games, and agreed to terms on a three-year deal with the New England Patriots on Aug. 17, 2012. Two weeks later, he was placed on injured reserve and missed the entire 2012 season.

Demps injured his knee in the final preseason game and then expressed a desire to continue his track career career while at the same time playing in the NFL, presumably leading to the Patriots’ desire to trade him.

As for Blount, in three seasons with Tampa Bay, he has 1,939 yards and a 4.5 yards per carry average with with 13 touchdowns. But Blount achieved notoriety for what he did in college while playing for Chip Kelly at Oregon.

The Ducks opened their 2009 season with a 19’€“8 loss to Boise State. Blount ended the game with negative yardage (-8) and points (-2 from a safety). Shortly after the end of the game, Blount punched Boise State defensive end Byron Hout, knocking him to the ground. Blount then hit teammate Garrett Embry, who was attempting to restrain him, in the helmet.

As he was escorted to the locker room, Blount confronted Boise State fans who were jeering him after seeing the video replay. Blount claimed one Boise State fan brandished a chair at him and another punched him. Two police officers and Oregon assistant coach Scott Frost restrained Blount and escorted him into the locker room.

For more, visit the Patriots team page at

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New Patriots wide receiver Josh Boyce ready to work with another top-level quarterback

04.27.13 at 1:55 pm ET
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FOXBORO — Josh Boyce knows quality quarterbacks.

As a high schooler in Texas, he had the chance to work with Robert Griffin III. In college at TCU, he was a teammate of Andy Dalton. Now, the Patriots’€™ fourth-round pick will get the opportunity to catch passes from Tom Brady.

‘€œAll three of them are great guys and great quarterbacks,’€ said Boyce shortly after New England picked him with the 102nd selection in the draft on Saturday afternoon. ‘€œI’€™ve been blessed to play with great quarterbacks throughout my career.’€

The 5-foot-11, 203-pound Boyce already has some history with Brady — he shares the same agency as the New England quarterback, and had a chance to meet him when he came on a visit this spring. (He said Saturday he’€™s worked out with Julian Edelman, who also has the same representation.)

‘€œYou’€™re talking about a great quarterback in Tom Brady,’€ Boyce said, who also counts current Patriots and former Horned Frogs like Marcus Cannon and Marcus Williams as friends. ‘€œI met Tom, I met him on the visit. He introduced himself and I told him we had the same agent and everything.’€

One of the most intriguing prospects in this draft, Boyce absolutely lit up the combine this past February. Already well regarded as a prospect after a three-year career at TCU (where he had 161 catches for 2,535 yards and 22 touchdowns in his three seasons as a collegian), he absolutely crushed it in Indy, dominating the wide receiver group across the board.

Despite the fact he was dealing with the fallout from a foot injury, he was the only receiver to rank in the top four in the 40 (4.38) and bench press (22 reps). In addition, he finished in the top four among receivers in five out of the seven main categories (40, bench press, broad jump, 3-cone drill, and 60-yard shuffle).

It was a performance that landed him on the radar screen of NFL personnel men.

‘€œI think it did because a lot of people didn’€™t think I’€™d run as fast as I did,’€ Boyce said. ‘€œI think the combine helped me out a lot.’€

Despite the physical attributes, Boyce — who finished his sociology degree at TCU in three years — says that his intelligence is his greatest asset.

‘€œI think I’€™m real smart. I can pick up things really quick. I see a lot of things before they happen. I think my mind is working for me a lot of times.

As for how he projects in the New England system, he will likely get an opportunity to see some snaps while battling with newcomers like Donald Jones and Michael Jenkins for playing time. One thing that will help him is the fact that he has some positional versatility — he said Saturday he’€™s comfortable playing inside and outside — as well as his special teams value (he returned three kicks last year for TCU).

Asked if he considers himself a deep threat, Boyce was noncommittal.

‘€œSome people call me that. I just think I’€™m an all-around receiver,’€ Boyce said. ‘€œWhatever they need me to do, I can do.’€

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Patriots select wide receiver Josh Boyce out of TCU in fourth round

04.27.13 at 12:38 pm ET
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FOXBORO — With their only fourth-round pick of the 2013 draft, the Patriots selected wide receiver Josh Boyce with the 102nd overall selection on Saturday. A 5-foot-11, 206-pounder out of TCU, Boyce had 161 catches for 2,535 yards and 22 touchdowns in his three seasons as a collegian, including 66 catches last year.

The thing that stands out about Boyce is his physical mesaurables: he was a freak at the combine, dominating the wide receiver group across the board. He was the only receiver to rank in the top four in the 40 (4.38) and bench press (22 reps). In addition, he finished in the top four among receivers in five out of the seven main categories (40, bench press, broad jump, 3-cone drill, and 60-yard shuffle).

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