Vote: Who was the best third-round pick in Patriots history?
|04.12.11 at 12:57 am ET|
With the NFL draft on the horizon, we’re going to look back at the Patriots’ best draft picks by round, with the four best selections the franchise has made in each round. We’ve already put the best of the eighth through the fourth round in the spotlight. Now, we’ve got the best of the third round, a group that includes a pair of undeniable impact players that will likely make this a two-team race. Vote for your favorite:
Tedy Bruschi: 1996, 86th overall. This undersized defensive lineman out of Arizona made the switch to linebacker when he arrived in New England, and became a defensive stalwart with the Patriots. A Pro Bowler, he was part of five AFC Champions and three Super Bowl champions, and averaged more than 50 tackles a season over the course of his career. But even more than his on-field numbers, his attitude and intensity made him one of the most popular players in the history of New England sports — in 13 seasons in New England, he became one of the players most identified with the success of the Patriots.
Curtis Martin: 1995, 74th overall. Martin, a product of Pitt, only spent three seasons in New England, but ended up as one of the most prolific backs in franchise history, finishing with 3,799 rushing yards (fourth-best in team history). He still holds the franchise marks for most rushing attempts in a season (368), most rushing attempts in a game (40) and most rushing touchdowns in a season (14) and a game (three). In 11 seasons with the Patriots and Jets, Martin accrued 14,101 career rushing yards, good for a place in the Top 10 in NFL history. (Rather surprisingly, last year he was the first of the NFL’s Top 10 career rushers not elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame on the first ballot.)
Clayton Weishuhn: 1982, 60th overall. The Angelo State product was part of a brilliant coterie of New England linebackers in the early 1980s that included Andre Tippett and Steve Nelson. Weishuhn, an inside linebacker, played five seasons with the Patriots, and finished with a team-record 229 tackles in 1983.
Carl Garrett: 1969, 58th overall. A running back out of New Mexico Highlands, Garrett played four years with the Boston/New England Patriots and had 2,235 rushing yards in his time in New England. (A versatile offensive option, he also had 107 catches for 1,158 receiving yards with the Patriots as well.) A Pro Bowler, he also worked as a return man, finishing his rookie season with a 28.3 average on kick returns.
Just missing the cut: Ellis Hobbs (2005, 84th overall); Kevin Turner (1992, 71st overall); Marv Cook (1989, 63rd overall); Robert Perryman (1987, 79th overall); Stephen Starring (1983, 74th overall); Steve McMichael (1980, 73rd).
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