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    Meet the Patriots’ 2012 draft selections

    Seventh-round pick Alfonzo Dennard could provide impact at cornerback if he can stay out of the trouble that caused his draft stock to plummet.
    Dave Weaver/AP/File
    Seventh-round pick Alfonzo Dennard could provide impact at cornerback if he can stay out of the trouble that caused his draft stock to plummet.

    A look at the Patriots’ selections in the 2012 NFL draft:

    NO. 21 OVERALL: DE CHANDLER JONES, SYRACUSE, 6-5, 266 pounds

    Three-year starter is extremely athletic and has a lightning-quick first step . . . Comes from athletic stock: his brother Arthur Jones is a defensive end with the Ravens, while another brother, Jon “Bones’’ Jones, is a UFC fighter . . . Has excellent recognition skills and lateral movement - he will make plays all over the field . . . Possesses good closing speed and will explode into opponents . . . Has long arms and will knock passes down at the line . . . Lacks strength and bulk but has frame to gain weight . . . Has had injuries and missed five games last season after suffering a knee injury in season opener.

    NO. 25 OVERALL: ILB DONT’A HIGHTOWER, ALABAMA, 6-2, 265 pounds

    One of the most-respected players on the nation’s best defense . . . Two-time captain is a physical player known for big hits and making big plays at key moments . . . When he hits you, you feel it for days . . . He has the versatility to stuff runners and to stack and shed blockers and collapse the pocket . . . Very effective blitzer . . . Also can drop into coverage (a weakness for many inside players) and make plays . . . Hightower is thick and muscular with deceptive speed and quickness . . . His aggressive nature will get him in trouble at times as he will sometimes overpursue . . . Tore his left ACL in 2009.

    NO. 48 OVERALL S TAVON WILSON, ILLINOIS, 6-0, 205 pounds


    Named All-Big Ten honorable mention and voted the Illini’s top defensive back each of the last two seasons . . . Very durable, not missing a start over the last three years . . . Moved from cornerback to safety after his sophomore season . . . Did not participate at NFL scouting combine but ran a 4.53 40 during the Illinois Pro Day . . . Had a career-best 81 tackles in 2011, up from 48 as a junior . . . Though he finished his career at Illinois with just three interceptions, he did have 22 pass break-ups . . . Best game last season came against Michigan, with 11 tackles, an interception, and a fumble recovery . . . Cornerback experience helps him react quickly in coverage . . . Pick was acquired from Oakland during last year’s draft.

    NO. 90 OVERALL DE JAKE BEQUETTE, ARKANSAS, 6-4 1/2, 274 pounds

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    Four-year starter and two-year captain at Arkansas . . . Gets high marks for his intensity and intelligence. “A tremendous leader,’’ according to Razorbacks defensive ends coach Steve Caldwell . . . Finished his senior season with 10 sacks and five forced fumbles despite missing three games with a hamstring injury. Ended his college career with two sacks and a forced fumble in the Cotton Bowl . . . Being tough against the run allows him to be used all along the defensive line. Also can play outside linebacker . . . Has the size to fight off his primary blocker . . . Pectoral injury prevented him from doing the bench press at the NFL scouting combine, but he posted a 4.75 in the 40.

    NO. 197 OVERALL DB NATE EBNER, OHIO STATE, 6-0, 202 pounds

    Former elite rugby player walked on to Buckeyes squad in 2009 even though he didn’t play football in high school . . . Played in 12 games in each of his three seasons and made his biggest impact on special teams coverage (‘‘a heat-seeking missile’’ according to Pro Football Weekly) . . . Known for his conditioning; he tested very highly at the Ohio State pro day, including a 39-inch vertical leap and 23 reps in the 225-pound bench press.

    NO. 224 OVERALL CB ALFONZO DENNARD, NEBRASKA, 5-10, 205 pounds

    His name would have been called well before the seventh round if not for some character issues, including an alleged assault of a police officer a week ago and his ejection from a bowl game in January . . . Was one of the top defensive backs in the Big Ten last year (first team all-conference) and was named Nebraska’s defensive MVP . . . Held without an interception as a senior but recorded six of his 21 career pass break-ups. Registered all four career picks as a junior.


    One of the most accomplished wideouts in Wildcats history, making 32 starts and finishing with 2,400 yards receiving . . . His four-year progression in catches: 15, 21, 62, 75 . . . Had an 81-yard TD catch among his 147 yards receiving in November against a Nebraska secondary that included fellow Patriots draftee Alfonzo Dennard . . . Ranked third in the Big Ten as a senior with 11 touchdown grabs and 5.8 receptions per game.