The second day of the NFL Draft was much like the first for Bill Belichick and the New England Patriots with defense ruling the day.
After using his first two picks on Saturday on defensive lineman Ty Warren and cornerback Eugene Wilson, Belichick retraced his steps with his two fourth round selections, grabbing Temple defensive tackle Dan Klecko and Central Florida cornerback Asante Samuel.
He switched gears drafting three straight offensive players in rounds 5-7 before wrapping things up with two more defensive players in outside linebacker/rush end Tully Banta-Cain out of Cal and Baylor nose tackle Ethan Kelley.
"Overall we got what we were looking for in terms of value on offense and defense," Belichick said in summing up the weekend's work. "It looks like a hard working group and I hope they'll come in and be competitive."
Klecko was a player the Patriots targeted when they re-shuffled their board following Day One's completion and when he was available at 117, the Patriots wasted no time in making the son of former Jets star Joe Klecko, their pick.
"He was clearly one of the most productive players in college football," Belichick said of the former Temple star, who followed in his father's footsteps by wearing No. 73 for the Owls. "He has a lot of string points and how those manifest in the pro game … he'll have to work hard."
That shouldn't be a problem for Klecko, who is graded by his father after every game. While labeled as undersized by NFL standards, the 5-11, 283 pounder is known for his work ethic.
"[My father] just always taught me to have the best work ethic of anyone and that's always going to help you achieve what you want to achieve. I modeled my game after him. I don't think there's many better types of players you can model your game after than a Hall of Fame type of player."
Klecko will likely be asked to play nose tackle in the Patriots 3-4 scheme, which Belichick confirmed would be the Patriots base defense this year – at least to start off.
Kelley will also be asked to compete for a job at that spot after handling the position for Baylor in its 3-4 defense. Kelley was rated as a player who would likely go undrafted, but his experience playing on the nose in a 3-4 scheme likely added to his value inside the Patriots draft room. He started for four years at Baylor – two on the offensive line and the last two on the defensive side.
Belichick was a member of the Jets coaching staff in 1997 when the Patriots AFC east rival landed its eventual starting nose tackle in the seventh round (229th) in Jason Ferguson, who has been a starter in New York since 1998 when healthy.
"We took six players on defense and I hope we created depth at multiple positions," Belichick said.
He hopes that's the case offensively with his Day Two picks as well. Tight end Spencer Nead played in the backfield some in a pro-style offense under former Bears offensive coordinator Gary Crowton at BYU and he could be a surprise player who could factor into the passing game down the road with some further development.
Boston College center Dan Koppen is another player with some excellent potential to add depth at both center and guard after a string career for the Eagles where Head Coach Tom O'Brien is a former offensive line coach and has churned out his share of NFL linemen.
Quarterback Kliff Kingsbury has to be considered a project who the Patriots hope to develop to get some value for as either a quality backup or in future trade. Either way, there is virtually nothing to lose in using a late-round pick on a quarterback who has solid leadership and game management skills like Kingsbury and Tom Brady who was drafted in a near identical spot three years prior.
Overall, the Patriots achieved their goal of getting younger on defense in this draft and may have found some late-round gems in the likes of Koppen, Nead and Banta-Cain.