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Pro Football Weekly's Eric Edholm brings you hot news and the inside scoop about the NFL.

Patriots finally pick, add three solid football players

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Posted April 25, 2009 @ midnight
Updated Oct. 06, 2010 @ 7:26 p.m.
By Eric Edholm

Why did the Patriots trade down twice and out of Round One?

Well, they clearly identified value and talent in the 30-50 range and now have three lower-priced, solid players instead of one or two moderately more talented players -- and heck, they might have taken Patrick Chung at 23 or 26 ahd they been stuck there.

When I texted a friend at the Red Sox game that the Pats took Chung, he texted back -- in horror -- "Eugene Chung???"

Rest assured, the Patriots did not re-draft the oft-injured bust OL pick from the early 1990s. Instead, they got a hard-hitting box safety who likely will take over the Rodney Harrison roster spot. Chung also should be a primo special-teamer and should be a nice rotational player they can work in.

With their next pick, the Patriots added Ron Brace, who can play the nose or the five-technique in a 3-4. And I can tell you there is a team picking in the 50s that is very upset Brace didn't fall to them. He wasn't talked about much in the pre-draft process, but Brace fills a need in case Vince Wilfork leaves after his contract is up. Those big noses who can take on two blockers are hard to find.

And the third guy is a player many thought the Patriots might take in Round One -- Darius Butler. I see Butler getting a chance to contribute as a nickel or dime back and also in the return game and perhaps as an occasional receiver. Yes, receiver. He played a little bit there at UConn, and there were some evaluators who felt his best pro position might be wideout. That's Patriot versatility. 

And they still have about 36 picks remaining ... 

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