Some teams preach the importance of special teams but their actions don't always match their words. The Patriots aren't one of those teams.
This thought came to mind after reading a story in Tuesday's Fort Worth Star-Telegram on Patriots seventh-round draft choice Malcolm Williams of TCU. The piece by Stefan Stevenson explains how Williams never started a game at TCU but was a top special teamer.
The pick is one that TCU coach Gary Patterson takes a lot of pride in. "They don't make a lot of stupid moves," he said of the Patriots.
Williams ran a 4.4 in the 40-yard dash and had a 40-inch vertical jump at TCU's Pro Day, which put him on the NFL radar.
In a sense, Williams was a "bonus" pick for the Patriots, who entered the day without a seventh-round selection. The team ended up acquiring a seventh-rounder in a trade with Oakland that also netted a 2012 second-round pick.
The selection of Williams isn't the first time the Patriots have used a draft pick for a special teams-only player. In 2008, they traded two picks to move up into the fifth round to select Matthew Slater, who has been one of their top coverage men the last three seasons.