FOXBORO, Mass. — The Patriots concluded their work in the 2012 draft by selecting Northwestern wide receiver Jeremy Ebert with the 235th pick in the seventh round. He was the only offensive player they took with their seven picks.
The 5-foot-11, 200-pounder had 75 receptions for 1,060 yards and 11 touchdowns as a senior. Over the last two seasons, he had 137 catches for 2,013 yards and 19 touchdowns.
Ebert is a slot receiver with 4.38 speed, although he lacks elite quickness for the position. He's the prototypical type of player for the slot, but he's got to add strength and improve his route-running ability to gain separation.
The best slot receiver in the game is dealing with a bit of a contract situation, but if Wes Welker doesn't show up, the Patriots still have Julian Edelman and Anthony Gonzalez to play in the slot. It will be a very uphill battle for Ebert to make the roster, so the practice squad may be his most realistic possibility.
It will be easy to associate this pick with Welker's situation. Was it a subtle jab from the organization? Or necessary depth in case they have other plans for Edelman, and Gonzalez succumbs to an injury? Consider them all fair game.
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