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New England: Sometimes, the best laid plans... As two-time defending Super Bowl champs, the Patriots weren't expecting to have to rely on their 2005 rookie class, at least not this year. Having OG Logan Mankins, the Patriots' #1 pick this past April, start from day one at LG was part of the plan and indeed Mankins played like a veteran pretty much from the git-go. What the Patriots didn't plan on, though, was that OT Nick Kaczur, their 3rd rounder this year, would also end up starting at LT much of the season in place of an injured Matt Light; like Mankins, though, this year's top rookie from Canada, held up surprisingly well. A couple of other rookies were also forced to step up when the Patriots' secondary was decimated by injuries. In particualr, CB Ellis Hobbs, a 2nd round pick this year, was more than solid, registering 42 tackles, as well as picking off 3 passes and breaking up 12 more; for good measure, Hobbs also averaged a respectable 24 yards per return bringing back KOs. At the same time, SS James Sanders, a 4th rounder, also got some emergency playing time, including a start; Sanders chipped in 12 tackles and returned an interception for a TD. Meanwhile, QB Matt Cassel, Matt Leinart's backup at Southern California who the Patriots took in the 7th round, also got some mop-up playing time, where he completed 54% of his pass attempts, including two for TDs. ... First-year grade: A-
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Anytime you have 3 first day picks that start for you during the year, that's a good draft.
Does anybody know if Kazcur needed surgery for his shoulder????? Someone on another baord wrote that they read that he had his arm in a sling at the S&C program.