Patriots make LB, WR top draft picksThe Sports Xchange
April 26. 2013 11:29PM
The New England Patriots mixed offense with defense on Friday in the second and third rounds of the NFL Draft.
At the 52nd pick, the Pats made outside linebacker Jamie Collins of Southern Mississippi their first selection. Later in the second round, with the 59th pick, New England took wide receiver Aaron Dobson of Marshall.
In the third round, with the 83rd pick, the Pats took cornerback Ryan Logan of Rutgers, then turned to the same defensive backfield to take Rutgers safety Duron Harmon with the 91st pick.
On Thursday, the Patriots traded their first-round pick to Minnesota for four picks: the 52nd, 83rd, 102nd and 229th choices.
Skill players taken
In a reversal of typical attention, skill-position players were left feeling neglected in the first round of the 2013 NFL Draft with only four selected in the first 32 picks, the fewest since 1975.
While nine offensive linemen, including three of the top four overall picks, were first-rounders, for the first time since 1963, the first round was completed without a running back being drafted. Only one quarterback was selected Thursday and not until the 16th pick did Florida State's EJ Manuel get the call, marking the longest wait since 2000 (Chad Pennington, 18th).
It was the longest draft wait ever for the first running back to be chosen - 37th overall - when the Cincinnati Bengals drafted North Carolina's Giovani Bernard, the first of five running backs taken in the second round.
One pick later, the San Diego Chargers moved up seven spots from No. 45 in a deal with the Arizona Cardinals to select Notre Dame inside linebacker Manti Te'o, one the most scrutinized players in the draft. But he was also one of the most productive college players in four years at Notre Dame.
West Virginia senior Geno Smith followed Te'o off the board. He was expected to be a first-round pick, didn't let the disappointment of not taking the stage at Radio City Music Hall deter him from returning for the second round in New York. He'll be a long-term tenant in the region and add a new level of drama to the Jets' quarterback picture.
Of the marquee names remaining on Day Two, Southern California's Matt Barkley was the least fortunate.
Smith had 17 300-yard games and a school-record 11,662 passing yards in the offensive scheme popularized first by former Texas Tech coach Mike Leach. He completed 71.2 percent of his passes in 2012.
Le'Veon Bell, a 240-pound bulldozing running back from Michigan State, gets a chance to be the next "Bus" in Pittsburgh. Bell was selected 11 picks after NFC North rival Cincinnati chose Bernard. After Denver snagged Wisconsin workhorse Montee Ball with the 58th pick, Alabama junior running back Eddie Lacy was drafted next-to-last in the second round by the Green Bay Packers.
Florida International safety Jonathan Cyprien was the first pick in the second round to the Jacksonville Jaguars. The Tennessee Titans acquired the 34th overall pick, No. 2 in the second round, to draft University of Tennessee wide receiver Justin Hunter and the Philadelphia Eagles followed with Stanford's Zach Ertz, a 6-5, 249-pound receiving tight end who caught 15 touchdowns in his college career. Ertz led FBS tight ends with 69 receptions in 2012. The Dallas Cowboys used their second pick in the 2013 draft (47th overall) on San Diego State's Gavin Escobar, who is considered a special athlete because of his height, long arms and agility.
In a continued effort to build their defense, the Detroit Lions used the fourth pick in the second round on Mississippi State's Darius Slay, who was the fastest cornerback timed at the 2013 NFL Scouting Combine.
A handful of inside linebackers were drafted shortly after Te'o. The Cardinals selected LSU's Kevin Minter and with the next pick, the Buffalo Bills chose Oregon's Kiko Alonso and with the 50th overall pick, the Chicago Bears drafted Florida linebacker Jonathan Bostic. It was the highest pick spent on a linebacker by the Bears since drafting Brian Urlacher in the first round in 2000.
Baltimore dealt up to get the 56th pick from the Seattle Seahawks and drafted Kansas State inside linebacker Arthur Brown. The 2012 Big 12 defensive player of the year could start as a rookie as the likely replacement for Ray Lewis. Seattle capped the second round with Texas A&M running back Christine Michael.