In The Red Zone - New England Patriots

The New England Patriots went into Friday evening with three second round picks.  They had selections lined up at #33, #56 and #60.

At #33 the first pick of the second round Bill Belichick and the Patriots staff reached out to the ACC and took CB Ras-I Dowling from Virginia.  The 6’1” 198 lbs corner is big for a typical Patriots defensive back.  He has good athletic ability and ranked 5th amongst CB’s and 39th overall by Scout’s Inc.

Dowling played in only five games in 201 due to hamstring and knee injuries and he will need to prove he can stay healthy and on the field.  In 2009 he started 12 games and had three picks and was Second Team All-ACC while in 2008 he started the last nine games and had three interceptions.

He figures to push Darius Butler, the 2009-second rounder out of UConn, who took a step back last season.

At #56 the Patriots went with a running back and selected Shane Vereen from California.  He is 5’10” and 204 lbs and started all 12 games for the Golden Bears as a redshirt junior in 2010.  He ran for 1,167 yards on 231 carries and had 13 TD’s while catching 22 passes for 209 yards and three TD’s.

In 2009 he was paired with current Detroit RB Jahvid Best and led the team in rushing with 952 yards while scoring 12 TD’s. In addition he caught 25 passes for 244 yards and three TD’s.

In his redshirt freshman year of 2008 he played in 13 games, started three and recorded 715 rushing yards on 142 attempts.  He was just the third running back selected in the draft.

The Patriots then traded pick #60 to the Houston Texans for a 3rd round pick (#73) and a 5th round pick (#138).  The team took less value here than what the pick was worth.  In the book the #60 pick is worth 300 points while the two picks they got back only add up to 262 points.