BOSTON (CBS) — It may have taken an extra day, but the Patriots have finally made a pick in the 2020 NFL Draft.
With the 37th overall pick, the New England Patriots have selected safety Kyle Dugger from Lenoir-Rhyne — a Division II school. He won the Cliff Harris Award as a senior — given to the best defensive player in Division II — after coming down with two interceptions and defending six passes in just seven games in 2019.
Dugger had 10 interceptions overall in his collegiate career while also forcing six fumbles and recovering six fumbles. He’s a fast, hard-hitting safety at 6-foot-1, 217 pounds, and when he wasn’t making plays on defense, Dugger was also making an impact on special teams. He returned six punts for touchdowns during his time with the Bears.
He is the first player drafted out of Lenoir-Rhyne University since 2000.
The Patriots acquired this pick from the Chargers, along with No. 71 overall, in a trade during the first round on Thursday night. The Patriots sent the 23rd overall pick to the Chargers, who drafted Oklahoma linebacker Kenneth Murray with that pick.
This year marked the third time in the past five years that the Patriots went without a first-round pick, having lost the 2016 first-rounder in the DeflateGate situation and having traded the 2017 pick for Brandin Cooks.
Belichick’s First Selections In Years Without First-Round Picks
2000, No. 46 overall: Adrian Klemm
2009, No. 34 overall: Patrick Chung
2013, No. 52 overall: Jamie Collins
2016, No. 60 overall: Cyrus Jones
2017, No. 83 overall (third round): Derek Rivers
Thursday’s trade was just the start of what will be a very busy weekend for the Patriots, who entered the draft with 12 picks. The trade bumped it up to 13, and with Bill Belichick being Bill Belichick, the team is surely not finished swapping picks for this year and the coming years.