- Mike Reiss, ESPN Staff Writer
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The Patriots wrapped up their 2012 NFL draft by selecting Northwestern receiver Jeremy Ebert in the seventh round (235th overall), a pick which has some similarities to when the Patriots selected Julian Edelman in the seventh round (232nd overall) in 2009.
Ebert was a dual-threat quarterback at his Ohio high school, before moving to receiver in college. He had solid production as a receiver in his final two seasons at Northwestern (62 catches in 2010, 75 catches in 2011).
At 5-foot-10, 194 pounds, Ebert is described as a slot receiver by the 2012 Pro Football Weekly draft preview, which means he could be in the mix behind Wes Welker along with Edelman and Anthony Gonzalez. Welker, Edelman and Gonzalez all have contracts that expire after the 2012 season, as they are scheduled to become unrestricted free agents.
The Patriots are loaded at receiver with Welker, Brandon Lloyd, Deion Branch, Edelman, Chad Ochocinco, Donte Stallworth, Gonzalez and Tiquan Underwood atop the depth chart, so making the roster will be a challenge for Ebert. But the Patriots have an older look at the position, so developing a younger target -- either on the roster or practice squad -- makes a lot of sense.