There were more than a few moments of intense anticipation only to find the build up had been stalled by a trade.
Twice the Patriots' number had come up, but they were yet to select a player. New England had continued to pile up draft picks however, trading down through the first round. The team had amassed 13 draft picks before they selected safety Patrick Chung out of the University of Oregon with the 34th overall selection on the first day of the 2009 NFL Draft on Saturday.
All along, Patriots fans who'd ascended on Gillette Stadium for the Patriots' 2009 Draft Party, presented by AutoTrader.com, found faith in the team's plan and enjoyed a fun-filled day packed with player appearances, give-aways and behind-the-scenes insight from a host of Patriots coaches and former players.
"I don't think you're surprised by anything with this team," said Sam Macasay of Boston after learning the Patriots had traded their first-round pick. "You know that Coach [Bill] Belichick always has a plan."
After Chung's selection had been announced to the masses gathered at the Fidelity Investments Clubhouse with a rousing cheer, Macasay quickly consulted his mobile device to get the rundown on the former Oregon safety. Macasay was decked out in a Patriots logo foam hat and wild red, white and blue Patriots pants. He had a flag commemorating each of the Patriots' Super Bowl victories draped around his shoulders.
Macasay's friend Jiann Hyland of Allston, Mass. shared his enthusiasm for the Patriots' first pick.
"I think this will help strengthen the secondary," Hyland added. "Seems like a good pick to me."
Current Patriots players Le Kevin Smith, Adalius Thomas and Ty Warren mixed and mingled with fans, taking photos and signing autographs.
"That's just Coach Bill [Belichick] being Coach Bill," Smith smiled in reaction to the team's early trades. "You know he's going to get the best value out of any particular pick that he can."