FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – The defending AFC-champion New England Patriots selected defensive back Nate Ebner of Ohio State in the sixth round of the NFL draft on Saturday.
The Patriots used the No. 163 overall pick — acquired in a trade with the Green Bay Packers on Friday — to take Ebner, 22, who is 6-foot-1, 205 pounds. He finished his senior season with the Buckeyes with 11 tackles and one sack.
He was primarily used on special teams.
"I'm just so excited about the opportunity," Ebner said. "I'm really at a loss for words about the whole thing."
Ebner joined the Buckeyes as a walk-on in 2009, after playing competitive rugby throughout high school. He was named the MVP of the Rugby World Cup in the 2007 and 2008 tournaments.
The Patriots continue to focus on defense in the draft, after losing the Super Bowl to the New York Giants. All five of their selections have been on that side of the ball.
New England traded up twice in the first round on Thursday to select defensive end Chandler Jones of Syracuse at No. 21, and linebacker Dont'a Hightower of Alabama at No. 25.
The Patriots selected safety Tavon Wilson of Illinois in the second round, at No. 48. After trading their other second-rounder, 62nd overall, in the deal with Green Bay, the Patriots selected defensive end Jake Bequette of Arkansas at No. 90.