<
>

Belichick likes 'four-down' player

FOXBORO – Patriots coach Bill Belichick said he was prepared to select Rutgers cornerback Devin McCourty with the 22nd overall pick, but the team traded back with the thinking that they could get him at 27 and receive a mid-round draft choice.

“At the end of the round there, things came out about as well as we could have hoped for,” he said. “Devin is a player that is a player in an outstanding program at Rutgers. He was very coached by Coach [Greg] Schiano and their staff. Devin has had an outstanding career there. He’s fast, he’s very tough, he’s a good four-down football player – first, second, third and fourth down. In the kicking game, certainly one of the top guys in the draft in that area. I think he’s shown consistent production in that program, again in a very well coached program. I have a lot of respect for what he’s done there. We felt like by backing off a little bit that we could still make that pick and that was the case. In the end, we acquired a third-round pick tomorrow, number 90. We felt like that was good value the way things turned out.”

Belichick later repeated his thoughts about McCourty being a four-down football player.

“I think Devin’s ability to help the team on four downs, it’s hard for me to picture a player who can do more than that,” he said. “There aren’t many players who can really impact the game on first, second, third and fourth downs. I think he can be a player that can contribute in all four of those areas, and I think that gives him a lot of versatility and a lot of value.”