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Thursday, July 14, 2011
2 Pats 'steals' that didn't pan out

By Mike Reiss

In a "Football Outsiders" piece now posted on ESPN.com (Insider content), writer Rivers McCown identifies the top 10 draft "steals" who didn't succeed. Two with Patriots ties make the cut.

Linebacker Andy Katzenmoyer, a 1999 first-round pick (28th overall), falls into the No. 8 spot.

Meanwhile, receiver Chad Jackson, a 2006 second-round pick (36th overall), lands at No. 6.

On Katzenmoyer, McCown writes, "He was on his way to a solid, if not spectacular, rookie season with the Patriots when a helmet-to-helmet hit with Buffalo fullback Sam Gash seriously damaged his neck. It troubled him through the rest of the season and 2000, even after it was operated on, and he finally retired from the league during training camp in 2001."

On Jackson, McCown writes, "The Patriots dealt a third-round pick to the Packers to advance 16 spots and select him (it's a rare college player that Bill Belichick actually trades up to get). Jackson followed that up by immediately becoming one of the most fragile players in the NFL."

Quarterback Matt Leinart, the Cardinals' first-round pick in 2006, was No. 1.