LB McKenzie drafted by Patriots in third round
Former USF linebacker Tyrone McKenzie has been selected in the third round of the NFL Draft, taken with the 97th overall pick by the New England Patriots.
While he's just the third USF player to be drafted in the third round or higher, he's tied with cornerback Anthony Henry (2001, Browns) for the fourth highest draft pick at 97th overall.
The Patriots were one of a handful of NFL teams that worked McKenzie out individually, and New England had not taken a linebacker with any of its first five picks in what has been a busy '09 draft. This note from the Boston Globe suggests McKenzie would be an inside linebacker in the Patriots' 4-3 defense.
Looking at the Patriots' schedule, you might think McKenzie gets a trip home to Tampa in his rookie season, but far from it -- the Oct. 25 game New England plays is listed as "at Tampa Bay," but that's the game the Bucs and Patriots will play in London.
McKenzie was taken using the first "compensatory" pick of the draft, given to New England after cornerback Asante Samuel signed a lucrative free-agent contract with the Eagles last year.
How much can McKenzie expect to get from his rookie contract? Last year's No. 97 pick, Florida receiver Andre Caldwell, also from Tampa, signed a four-year contract that reportedly included a $560,000 signing bonus. The total value of the contract was said to be $2.23 million, so McKenzie's figures should be slightly up from those totals.
And from the "even a blind squirrel finds an acorn" department, I somehow called this pick like 10 minutes before it happened.