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Highlights of the Brandon Tate conference call 04.26.09 at 1:07 pm ET
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Just got off a conference call with Brandon Tate. Here are a few highlights — we’€™ll have the full Q&A along shortly:
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What the rest of the day looks like for the Patriots at 12:18 pm ET
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OK, now that we have a few moments to breathe, here’s a quick update as to what’s ahead for New England:

5th round pick — 170th overall: This is a compensatory pick that cannot be traded.
6th round pick — 207th overall: This is also a compensatory pick that cannot be traded.
7th round pick — 232nd overall: This was a pick that was picked up in a trade with Jacksonville earlier in the day.
7th round pick — 234th overall: An assigned pick.

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On Tyrone McKenzie at 12:14 pm ET
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The Patriots took their first linebacker at No. 97, taking Tyrone McKenzie out of the University of South Florida. (More on McKenzie can be found here and here.) A 6-foot-2, 235-pound outside linebacker who was a first-team All-BIG EAST selection, he finished his senior season with 116 tackles, including 14.5 tackles for a loss. He spent a year each at Michigan State and Iowa State before transferring for his final two years to USF.

The 23-year-old certainly has had to endure a lot in his life — his father Ruppert, passed away when he was nine. “My father died when I was nine and having to become the man of the house helped me mature,” McKenzie said in an interview earlier this year. “It helped me become a man. It helped me on the field as well. It helped me get to the situation I am right now.”

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Patriots take Tyrone McKenzie at No. 97 at 12:01 pm ET
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FOXBOROUGH — The Patriots have taken OLB Tyrone McKenzie out of South Florida with the 97th overall pick. More details to follow.

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Another deal at 11:37 am ET
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The Patriots are trading with the Titans — New England will send its 89th overall pick to Tennesse for the Titans’ second-round pick next season.

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On Brandon Tate at 11:25 am ET
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The Patriots selected wide receiver Brandon Tate out of North Carolina. Tate is a 6-foot, 195-pounder who established an NCAA combined kick-return yardage record (3,523 yards) and was 304 yards shy of the NCAA record for kick return yardage. (Here’s video of him.) However, his career was derailed when he suffered a knee injury against Notre Dame earlier this season and missed the final seven games of the season. Then, at the combine, he apparently tested positive for marijuana.

We’ll have more on him shortly, but here’s a quick bio on him.

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Patriots take Brandon Tate at 11:15 am ET
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FOXBOROUGH — With the 83rd pick, the Patriots select WR Brandon Tate out of North Carolina.

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