Michael Buchanan became the sixth Patriots draft pick to sign with the team on Tuesday.
The Patriots selected Buchanan in the seventh round (226th overall) of this year’s draft. The 22-year-old defensive end should help add even more depth to an already packed group along the defensive line.
Buchanan was a standout as a junior at Illinois in 2011, managing 62 tackles and 7 1/2 sacks and boosting his draft stock somewhere into the top three rounds. But some off-field incidents — including a drunk driving-related arrest in 2010 and a fight that resulted in a broken jaw last offseason — as well as a dip in production in 2012 saw him fall all the way into the seventh round this year.
The Patriots are hoping Buchanan can rediscover his 2011 form and return to being a nightmare for opposing quarterbacks. Even if he flops terribly, spending a seventh-round pick was well worth a low-risk shot on a high-reward player like Buchanan. He will continue to get acclimated to the Patriots’ defensive scheme, as OTAs picked up again on Tuesday.
Second-round wide receiver Aaron Dobson is the only remaining Patriots rookie not to have signed with the team. With money already allotted out for each draft slot, the Patriots should be able to get Dobson’s deal done soon and finish off this draft class.
Thumbnail photo via College Press Box
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