FOXBOROUGH — The Patriots made it five straight defensive players selected in this year’s NFL’s draft, taking defensive back Nate Ebner from Ohio State with the 197th pick.
The pick, which came near the end of the sixth round, was the result of a trade with Green Bay. The Patriots sent their fifth-round pick (originally Green Bay’s) back to the Packers in return for three picks: a sixth round, and two seventh-rounders.
Ebner joined the Buckeyes as a walk-on, and worked his way into a solid special teams performer. He didn’t play much on defense, though — 11 tackles as a senior, including a sack — before impressing at Ohio State’s pro day.
“Did I think I’d be in a position to get drafted? No way,” Ebner told the Cleveland Plain-Dealer.
Ebner didn’t play football in high school, and is an elite rugby player who had thoughts of making that a post-college career. Now he’s a New England Patriot.