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2014 NFL Draft: New England Patriots select Jon Halapio with 179th pick

The pipeline from Gainesville to Gillette Stadium remains very much open.


Who says the New England Patriots were done with Florida Gators? After ridding their roster of the Gators that Bill Belichick had stockpiled entering the 2014 offseason, the Pats have picked up two more in the 2014 NFL Draft: Dominique Easley in Thursday's first round, and now Jon Halapio with the 179th pick in the sixth round.

Halapio had a frustrating 2013 season, missing Florida's first two games with a torn pectoral muscle. He was back in the Gators' lineup at right guard against Tennessee, but two quarters into that game, Florida had already lost Jeff Driskel for the year, leaving Halapio (and the rest of the offense) performing Herculean tasks. And Halapio's injury was severe enough that he couldn't lift weights during the 2013 season, and significantly limited him as a pass blocker, especially in one-on-one situations.

But Halapio's still agile for a guard, and strong despite a smallish frame, and savvy enough to have been a four-year starter for the Gators, traits that likely played well with New England's inscrutably picky front office.

Trevor Sikkema has Halapio pegged as an early Day Three pick earlier this week. Going midway through the sixth round doesn't quite wash with that, but I suspect Halapio won't complain.