In selecting safety Patrick Chung with the 34th overall pick, the Patriots land one of the draft's most experienced players. Chung projects to join James Sanders and Brandon Meriweather atop the team's safety depth chart.
Chung also could make the return of Rodney Harrison, already considered a bit of a longer shot, that much longer.
Chung's skill set complements Meriweather and Sanders in that he is considered more of a close-to-the-line type of player, while Sanders and Meriweather are more coverage types.
One of Harrison's areas of expertise was his work against tight ends. Chung could possibly fill that void.
- Intelligence/character: Four-year starter Was a team captain Considered the best strong safety in the draft Second-team All-American in 2007 and third-teamer in 2008 Was the Pac-10s defensive freshman of the year in 2005 and a first-team all-conference selection twice Mature and levelheaded player . Was named Oregons top special teams player as a junior Born Aug. 19, 1987 in Kingston, Jamaica
- Stopping the run: Fourth all-time at Oregon with 384 tackles, including a career-high 117 in 2007 and 92 last year (58 solo) Had 19 tackles for losses in his career . Solid tackler who can take on bigger blockers.
- Defending the pass: Sixth in school history with 26 pass deflections Nine career interceptions, including four as a sophomore Had just one interception last season, but returned it for a touchdown .. Had two of his four career sacks in 2008 Recorded a 34-inch vertical leap at draft combine.
- Size/strength/durability: Started every game in which he played Did 25 reps on the bench press (at 225 pounds) during the draft combine Bench pressed 345 pounds during winter testing . Averaged 25.6 yards on 12 kickoff returns last season.
Sources: National Football League, Globe research, and draft analysts from Pro Football Weekly, Ourlads, and The War Room.