With their first of two picks in the seventh round, the Patriots got some more help on defense. They selected Illinois defensive end Michael Buchanan at No. 226. Their last selection in this year’s draft will be at No. 235, barring any unforeseen deals.
At 6-foot-5 and 255 pounds, Buchanan is a big, quick pass rusher. He ran an impressive 4.78-second 40-yard dash at the combine and pushed out 22 reps on the bench press, showing off his strength too.
He first burst onto the national scene as a junior at Illinois, recording 64 tackles, 13.5 tackles for loss and 7.5 sacks. His production dropped as a senior, though, as he managed just 57 tackles and 4.5 sacks, which is a big reason behind his sliding all the way into the seventh round of the draft.
Buchanan’s down senior season is concerning, but he also has some character concerns. In 2010, he was suspended indefinitely after being arrested for driving under the influence. Then over the summer ahead of the 2012 season, Buchanan suffered a broken jaw during a fight. The altercation caused his mouth to be wired shut for a week and he lost some key weight and strength before the start of the season, which may have resulted in his lack of production.
Bill Belichick personally flew out to Illinois to visit with and work out Buchanan recently, and it appears he came back very impressed with what he saw.
There is lots of potential with Buchanan, but it’s very much dependent on his commitment and willingness to stay out of trouble.
Photo via College Press Box