Dalton Keene Drafted By The New England Patriots
Virginia Tech tight end Dalton Keene has been drafted by the New England Patriots as the 101st overall pick in the 2020 NFL Draft.
Bill Belichick and the Patriots traded picks 125, 129, and a 2021 sixth-round pick to the New York Jets to move back into the third round to select Keene.
New England Patriots' Director of Player Personnel Nick Caserio was high on the Keene pick when he spoke with the team's beat writers late on Friday night.
"Dalton Keene is a real interesting kid as an underclassman from Virginia Tech. He's a three-year starter and has played from day one there. A few things stood out to us on film...the catch-and-run type plays were solid. He's tough and smart, and was asked to do a number of things in their offense. We're looking forward to working with him and the other kids we've taken."
In his three-year career at Virginia Tech, Keene amassed 59 receptions for 748 yards and eight career touchdowns.
Much was made of his decision to leave early from Blacksburg, including a straightforward conversation with head coach Justin Fuente that helped lead him to his decision to forgo his final year of eligibility.
Several mock drafts had Keene going anywhere from the fourth-to-seventh rounds in the draft, but Keene found a home earlier than most anticipated at the end of the third round. He was the second tight end chosen by the Patriots in the 2020 draft, joining fellow tight end Devin Asiasi, who was selected 10 picks earlier at number 91 overall out of UCLA.
Not only that, but Keene may have landed in the best possible situation as a versatile tight end.
The Patriots have historically used tight ends heavily in their offensive system, making prominent careers out of tight ends such as Ben Watson, Aaron Hernandez, Martellus Bennett, and of course, Rob Gronkowski.
Can Keene etch his name out as the next prominent Patriots tight end? Only time will tell.
One thing is for certain though, Keene's decision to leave the Hokies early paid off.