Patriots

2020 NFL Draft picks: Patriots take safety Kyle Dugger in second round

2020 NFL Draft picks: Patriots take safety Kyle Dugger in second round

The New England Patriots made their first pick of the 2020 NFL Draft early in Friday night’s second round, and they chose to bolster their defense.

The Patriots selected Lenoir-Rhyne safety Kyle Dugger with the No. 37 pick. He should help improve both the secondary and the return game.

Not only did Dugger excel as a defensive back, he tallied six punt return touchdowns in his collegiate career. Dugger also was a four-year starter and is listed at 6-foot and 217 pounds. He was the lone Division II player invited to last year's Senior Bowl.

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New England has become the first team to take a safety from a Division II school in the first three rounds since 2006. The two Patriots starters at safety are Devin McCourty and Patrick Chung, and both are 32 years old, so adding some youth at this position makes sense.

Here's a scouting report on Dugger from our Phil Perry:

And another via ESPN's Mike Reiss:

The Patriots acquired this selection and No. 71 overall (third round) from the Los Angeles Chargers on Thursday in exchange for No. 23 overall in Round 1.

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Patriots reveal first photo of Cam Newton in full uniform, new jersey

Patriots reveal first photo of Cam Newton in full uniform, new jersey

New England Patriots fans wondering what Cam Newton would look like in the team's new uniforms no longer have to wait.

The Patriots unveiled headshots of each player earlier last week, and on Tuesday they posted photos of all the players in full uniform. The Patriots, of course, will debut new jerseys during the 2020 NFL season.

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Here's a look at Newton in the Patriots' home blue jersey:

The Patriots also tweeted a link to check out photos of every player in the new jerseys.

Newton signed a one-year contract with the Patriots a little more than a month ago, and if he's able to stay healthy, the former league MVP is the favorite to win the starting quarterback job over Jarrett Stidham and Brian Hoyer.

The Patriots are expected to have their first training camp practice Wednesday.

Patriots' Dont'a Hightower used Super Bowl LI to support fiancée during labor

Patriots' Dont'a Hightower used Super Bowl LI to support fiancée during labor

The greatest comeback in Super Bowl history is three and a half years old, but it certainly isn't forgotten.

Just ask Patriots linebacker Dont'a Hightower, who brought up New England's miraculous Super Bowl LI victory over the Atlanta Falcons while his fiancée, Morgan Hart, was delivering their baby. Seriously.

Hightower told The Boston Globe's Stan Grossfeld he started chanting "28-3, 28-3" and "Never give up" while Hart entered her 17th hour of labor with their first child last month.

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Apparently the motivational tactic worked, as Hart said Hightower's words helped her push through and deliver their baby boy, Grayson, on July 16.

"It was surreal," Hart told Grossfeld. “It was a long night and a long day, and he kept reminding me, ‘28-3, 28-3,′ meaning you can be behind and come back. Never, never give up."

That's a reference to the deficit New England faced in the third quarter of Super Bowl LI before rallying to win in overtime -- thanks in large part to Hightower's strip sack of Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan early in the fourth quarter.

Hightower still uses the 28-3 reference "all the time," per Grossfeld, but his focus won't be on football in 2020. The 30-year-old linebacker is one of eight Patriots players who have decided to opt out of the 2020 season.

"Not knowing too much about the COVID thing, I don’t want to jeopardize the health of my family," Hightower told Grossfeld. "I understand you can still catch it by going to the grocery store, but I’m not going to put my family’s health at risk for money.

"It’s family first. I want to take all the opportunity that I can to be a great father."

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