- Mike Reiss, ESPN Staff Writer
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The Patriots have five selections in the seventh round of the NFL draft, three of which are compensatory picks. The potential value of those late picks was discussed at the team's pre-draft party for season-ticket holders April 3 (video above).
At the end of the draft, there is usually a blitz among teams to sign rookie free agents, and competition can be fierce.
One recent story along those lines came in 2008 with linebacker Gary Guyton, who was involved in a tug-o-war between the San Francisco 49ers and New England Patriots. The Patriots were telling the undrafted Guyton that they really wanted him, but Guyton responded with a tough question: "If you wanted me so bad, why did you draft linebacker Bo Ruud in the sixth round instead of me?"
That's why he was initially leaning toward the 49ers.
But in the end, Guyton changed direction and came to New England. He's glad he did.
With the Patriots owning five seventh-round draft choices this year, they can avoid that type of competition for some players. Given their history with rookie free agents making the roster out of training camp -- Randall, Gay, Mike Wright, Pierre Woods, Guyton and Brian Hoyer -- it highlights the value that those late seventh-round picks can have.