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Saturday, April 24, 2010
Belichick eyes more late-round gems

By Mike Reiss

FOXBORO -- The Patriots enter the final day of the NFL Draft with eight selections -- single picks in the fourth, fifth and sixth rounds, and five in the seventh.

"I think there are still some pretty interesting players on the board going into the fourth round," head coach Bill Belichick said. "That's a little bit unusual. There usually aren't a lot of guys, but I think there's still a decent amount of depth in this draft."

The Patriots have not selected a pure defensive end and that could be a target (LSU's Al Woods, perhaps), and they could potentially look to a punter (maybe Michigan's Zoltan Mesko) at some point.

"There aren't too many guys that get drafted in the fourth, fifth round, where you say 'Well, this guy is really going to come in and take over this particular position on the team,'" Belichick said. "You're drafting the best players or maybe a position where you need some depth, so it's a lot less predictable which positions, or which players, will be taken as opposed to what we saw the last two days."

While some might dismiss late-round picks, Belichick is not among that group.

"I think we've got to continue to work on it, just like we did last year with the [Julian] Edelmans and the [Myron] Pryors and the Brian Hoyers, and going back to the [Matt] Cassels, Pierre Woods's, Mike Wrights and other free agents and late-round picks that we've had in previous years," he said. "So hopefully we can continue to improve our team and find some guys that maybe aren't the most high-profile guys in the draft, but guys that will help our football team."

One additional note on the team's picks today: The sixth-rounder and three of the seventh-rounders can not be traded, as they are compensatory selections.