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Rookie Refresher: Duron Harmon

07.23.13 at 3:00 pm ET
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In the days leading up to training camp, WEEI.com will reopen the book on the team’s 2013 draft class. The Pats, who traded their first-round pick to the Vikings, brought in seven players via the draft.

Duron Harmon

Duron Harmon

Duron Harmon

Safety, Rutgers

Drafted: Third round (91st overall)

Height/weight: 6-foot-0, 198 pounds

Why they drafted him: Because it was hilarious? Nobody expected Duron Harmon to be drafted. If they had to be honest, Mike Mayock, Mel Kiper and Todd McShay will probably say they had never heard of him. He was the 26th-ranked safety by ESPN Scouts, Inc. (23 safeties were drafted, and he was the ninth selected), and when Harmon was announced as the 91st overall pick, neither the NFL Network nor ESPN had highlights of him to show.

But he’s a Rutgers guy, and nobody watches Rutgers like Bill Belichick, who at this point appears to be obsessed with defenders who played under Greg Schiano. Harmon had a good sense of humor about it when he was drafted, as he certainly didn’t sound like someone who thought he was going in the third round.

What to expect from him as a rookie: Harmon is a strong safety, a position at which the Patriots are currently set with Adrian Wilson. Despite Wilson’s years of success in this league, you have to consider that he’s 33 and won’t be in the league forever. Perhaps the Pats view Harmon as something as a project who can eventually take over and play alongside Devin McCourty once Wilson’s playing days are done, but he’ll have to compete with Tavon Wilson for that role.

In the meantime, Harmon can contribute on special teams, where people probably expected him to play when they were projecting him to be a fringe NFL prospect. The jury is still out on Tavon Wilson, another safety the Patriots took earlier than expected (second round in 2012), so either the Patriots see something that other teams don’t or they just really like reaching when it comes to safeties.

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