FOXBORO, Mass. — The New England Patriots used their second-round draft pick, and well, it was a surprise.
The Patriots grabbed Stanford safety Jordan Richards with the 64th overall pick in the 2015 NFL Draft. He was projected to be drafted in the fifth or sixth round, according to NFLDraftScout.com.
The 5-foot-11, 211-pound defensive back ran a 4.65-second 40-yard dash at the NFL Scouting Combine in February and also had a 6.74-second three-cone and 4.22-second short shuttle. He recorded a 32-inch vertical leap and 9-foot, 3-inch broad jump.
Richards improved his 40 time to 4.59 at his pro day in March.
Richards, a senior captain with the Cardinal, is known for his smarts. He intercepted nine passes during his four-year career and also had 247 total tackles (13 for loss), 24 passes defended and one sack.
The Patriots shocked NFL fans by selecting safety Tavon Wilson in the second round of the 2012 draft and Duron Harmon in the third round of the 2013 draft, so perhaps taking Richards in the second round isn’t so surprising.
The Patriots re-signed starting free safety Devin McCourty to a five-year contract this offseason, and they locked up starting strong safety Patrick Chung through 2017 during the season. Wilson is entering the final year of his rookie contract, and Harmon is signed through 2016.
Richards is known as a strong run defender, according to Lance Zierlein’s NFL.com scouting report. He has “obvious coverage limitations,” according to Zierlein.
Thumbnail photo via Mark J. Rebilas/USA TODAY Sports Images