With the pick they acquired from a first round trade with the Saints, the New England Patriots selected Cal RB Shane Vereen. Interestingly enough, the Saints picked the draft’s consensus best back, Mark Ingram, with the pick they got from the Pats. Shane Vereen ran a 4.5 40 at the Combine and led all running backs with 31 reps. Vereen’s strengths are as a pass protector and catching the ball out of the backfield, which are skills the Pats covet at the position. That likely made Vereen a higher-rated back than others, like Mikel Leshoure, who most rated as the second-best back in the draft. Vereen will share the backfield with BenJarvus Green-Ellis and Danny Woodhead.
The Patriots then traded their third second-round pick, 60th overall, to Houston for Houston’s 3rd round pick (73rd overall) and 5th round pick (138th overall). That means the Pats have three third-round picks and will pick (theoretically) back-to-back in Round Three. They also now have two fifth-round picks.
Here is the pre-draft scouting report on Shane Vereen:
Vereen emerged from Jahvid Best’s shadow to have breakout season in 2010 and he could be an effective weapon on third down at the next level. Vereen lacks the size and speed to be an every down back, but he is terrific pass catcher out of the back field that will keep the chains moving. He has very good vision and could be very effective in a zone blocking scheme. He also has the hands and enough lateral agility to contribute as a returner. Vereen has a limited ceiling but he is a quality back that could sneak into the third round.