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Patriots select Marshall tight end Lee Smith

April 30, 2011

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BOSTON—The New England Patriots have gone back to the tight end spot in the draft by taking Lee Smith of Marshall in the fifth round.

The selection of Smith comes after the Patriots drafted tight ends Rob Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez last year. Both had outstanding rookie seasons, with Gronkowski scoring 10 touchdowns.

The 6-foot-6, 266-pound Smith is an outstanding blocker who eventually could replace blocking tight end Alge Crumpler. Last season, Smith caught 38 passes for 358 yards and three touchdowns. He also was a long snapper at Marshall.

The Patriots have two more picks before the draft winds up Saturday, one each in the sixth and seventh rounds.

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