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Patriots trade with Bucs in second round to grab Gators DB Duke Dawson

Florida Football Insiders

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Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

It took into the second round, but the Gators had another defensive back taken in the NFL Draft, and it turns out, the player gets to go to the iconic NFL franchise of the 2000’s, the Patriots. After a trade with the Bucs, New England selected Florida defensive back Duke Dawson with the 56th pick in the second round.

First, the Bucs made the deal with the Pats to go down seven spots and pick up a fourth round pick, as well, because they had already taken a DB in MJ Stewart of North Carolina earlier in the round.

Back to Dawson, here’s part of the breakdown on him from NFL.com

He played in every game as a reserve in 2015 (10 tackles, forced fumble) before starting seven games as a nickel back (24 tackles, 3.5 for loss, one interception, led the Gators with seven pass breakups)–waiting to turn to be a full-time starter after corners Jalen Tabor and Quincy Wilson depart for the NFL. Dawson got his chance in 2017, garnering first-team All-SEC honors by starting all 11 games, collecting 34 stops, two for loss, a team-high four interceptions and nine pass breakups. His strong, compact build makes him an excellent tackler and his hand-eye coordination allows him to knock away passes at the last second. 

Dawson was one of the few bright spots in a 2017 season that saw the Gators fire coach Jim McElwain after their late October blowout loss to Georgia.

He does come out of the mold of Tabor and Wilson, as the NFL.com item mentions.

He ran a 4.48 forty time at the NFL Scouting Combine in February. And, he obviously fills a need for the Patriots, who allowed former Superbowl hero Malcom Butler to depart via free agency. Butler signed with the Titans in March.

Dawson was the third consecutive SEC player taken by Bill Belichick after New England took OT Isaiah Wynn and RB Sony Michel of Georgia last night in round one.

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