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Patriots pick Jemea Thomas in 6th

5/10/2014

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- The pick: Jemea Thomas, DB, Georgia Tech (206th overall).

My take: This is the first defensive back the Patriots have selected and it's easy to see what the Patriots like in Thomas, who at 5-foot-9 1/4 and 192 pounds is undersized but instinctive. He caught the eye of colleague Field Yates in April based on the way he reads coverages and works in the weight room, and Scouts Inc. noted he "loves the game." Thomas' name also came up in the pre-draft process as a comparable player, in part, to 2013 Patriots third-round pick Logan Ryan. Thomas' ticket for a roster spot, as it often is for late sixth-round picks, will start on special teams. He has experience covering punts.

Safety depth chart: Devin McCourty, Duron Harmon, Patrick Chung, Tavon Wilson, Nate Ebner, Kanorris Davis, Jemea Thomas

Logan Ryan trickle-down effect: There has been some chatter, first noted by the Boston Herald, about the Patriots possibly working cornerback Logan Ryan at safety. One wonders how the addition of Thomas might alter any plans along those lines because this now adds a seventh safety to the roster. It also looks like Thomas has corner-safety position flexibility. Another factor to consider at the position is that Devin McCourty is in the final year of his contract, so Thomas, should he develop, adds another young player to the pipeline.

What's next: The Patriots have one more draft pick, in the seventh round (244th).