Sunday, April 26, 2009

Patriots take UNC's Tate in third round

A knee injury cost UNC receiver Brandon Tate a spot in the first round of the NFL Draft but not with one of the best teams in the NFL.

The New England Patriots took Tate in the third round, 83rd overall, teaming him up with all-pro receiver Randy Moss and all-everything quarterback Tom Brady.

Tate tore his anterior cruciate and medial collateral ligaments in his right knee in the sixth game and missed the final seven games of his senior season. He posted big numbers when he was healthy with five total touchdowns and 23.5 yards per catch.

Tate had been able to do light running in the pre-draft workouts but wasn't able to show off his best asset, his speed. Pre-draft speculation had Tate going anywhere from the fourth round to the sixth. A reported failed drug test for marijuana further complicated his status but it didn't scare away the Patriots, who are renowned for drafting off the beaten path.

The Patriots are also known to take versatile players and Tate finished his career as the NCAA's career leader in combined kick return yards (3,523 yards).

-- J.P. Giglio