Patriots Select Illinois DE Buchanan in the 7th Round

Ian Logue
April 27, 2013 at 06:45pm ET

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Michael Buchanan seems like he could be a hidden gem for the Patriots. (FILE:USPresswire)

The Patriots have done a decent job in grabbing guys who are value picks at their positions and they managed to grab another one when they selected Illinois defensive end Michael Buchanan on Saturday.

Buchanan was a guy that many publications had pinned as a potential 4th or 5th round draft pick and he appears to be a solid pick up for the Patriots defense.  He's a guy that during his breakout season in 2011 racked up 64 tackles including 13.5 for a loss along with 7.5 sacks.

He's also another guy who has an interesting back story.  After his junior season some actually felt he could be a first round pick, but he suffered a broken jaw following an altercation that forced him to have his jaw wired shut.  The all liquid diet he was on ultimately caused him to lose a reported 20 pounds, which seemed to cause him to struggle during his senior season.

As a result his stock dropped but he's a guy who seems to have the talent and just needs some bulk to return to being the type of player he was earlier in his collegiate career.

"I shouldn't have put myself in that situation in the first place," he told the Chicago Sun Times recently regarding the altercation. "I did have some issues, as far as my weight, but we had new coaches and everyone bought into the system, but we didn't start figuring things out until late in the season."

He's now back up to 252 pounds and told the newspaper he's never been healthier.

"That's good for me.  The teams I've received the most interest from, they see me as a 3-4 outside linebacker," he said. "But I think I can get up to whatever a team asks me to do."

Sounds like he could be a guy who could surprise some people this season.