After entering the weekend without a first- or second-round selection, the Pats traded down early in the third round (the Bill Belichick special).
New England added their first player of the draft at No. 83 overall (the 19th selection of the third round) selecting defensive end Derek Rivers.
Rivers, 6-foot-4, 248-pound Youngstown St. product, compiled 173 total tackles and 37.5 sacks in four seasons. Rivers displayed good burst at the college level and the ability to disrupt the passer.
NFL Network analyst Mike Mayock noted that Rivers has position versatility to stand up as an outside linebacker or put his hand in the dirt and rush the passer. We all know how much Belichick loves versatile players.
The Pats later moved up in the third round, sending the No. 96 pick and a fourth-round selection (124) to the Detroit Lions for pick No. 85. New England used the selection on 6-foot-6 Troy offensive tackle Antonio Garcia. With Nate Solder in a contract year, Garcia could be long-term insurance at left tackle in Foxboro.