The New England Patriots bolstered their interior defensive line at the end of the third round of the 2016 NFL Draft.
The Patriots drafted Nebraska defensive tackle Vincent Valentine 96th overall Friday night. Valentine, who entered the draft after his junior season at Nebraska, ran a 5.19-second 40-yard dash at 6-foot-4, 329 pounds. He also ran an 8.03-second three-cone and posted a 4.59-second short shuttle, 9-foot, 2-inch broad jump, 29-inch vertical leap and 17 bench-press reps of 225 pounds.
Valentine played just seven games in 2015 and recorded 10 tackles, four tackles for loss and three sacks. He started 24 games in his three seasons at Nebraska, finishing his college career with 76 tackles, 16 tackles for loss and seven sacks.
The Patriots needed youth at defensive tackle. Malcolm Brown, the Patriots’ 2015 first-round pick, is the only interior defensive lineman signed beyond the 2016 season.
Valentine recorded 17 total pressures in 230 pass-rush snaps, according to Pro Football Focus. He made five run stops in 146 run defense snaps, ranking last among draft-eligible defensive tackles in Pro Football Focus’ run stop percentage metric.
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