By: Ian Logue
The Patriots drafted Ohio State safety Nate Ebner (shown making a sack in this photo) in the sixth round on Saturday.
Bill Belichick is certainly making this year’s draft interesting.
On Saturday after trading out of the 5th round and picking up a 6th and two 7th rounders, he selected safety Nate Ebner out of Ohio State in the 6th round with the 197th overall selection.
The interesting part about the 6’0″ 202 pound former Buckeye is the fact that while he’s listed as a safety, according to the Cleveland Plain Dealer he played just a handful of snaps on defense during his collegiate career. He made a name for himself as a special teams standout who apparently was pondering playing international rugby if the chance at playing in the NFL hadn’t worked out.
“I’m giving football my 100 percent,” Ebner told the newspaper earlier this week. “I don’t want to say, ‘If I wasn’t messing around with rugby, what would have happened?’ It’s football all the way, and if that doesn’t work out, I’m definitely playing rugby somewhere if I’m not playing football.
“But I’m going to be hitting people with my body as long as it can take it. And rugby’s too fun to not play if I’m not playing football.”
He sounds a lot like a guy like former Patriots offensive lineman Stephen Neal, who excelled as a wrestler in college before coming to New England and becoming a solid player at the guard position for 10 years until finally making the decision to retire back on March 2, 2011. This time around Ebner’s just a guy who likes to hit people, and just wanted to play a sport that allowed him to do it.
He wasn’t completely excited about the draft, but planned on working his way onto someone’s roster if he wasn’t selected.
“I’m not getting overly excited about the draft,” Ebner told the newspaper. “I just want a chance with a team. At the end of the day, you have to show up when it comes time to play.”
He’s got his chance, and Patriots fans should look forward to seeing him hit people this coming season.