29th Pick

Chris Canty, cornerback from Kansas State, was the only player the Patriots ever selected at the 29th pick in 1997.

The Patriots had the 29th pick slot in the NFL Draft only twice in their history. The first time was in 1997 with the selection of cornerback Chris Canty. The other time was last season, in which the team promptly traded out.

Chris Canty, DB - Kansas State

The New England Patriots selected Chris Canty, an energetic and swaggering cornerback with their first pick (29th overall) in the 1997 draft.
Canty drafted 29th in 1997 by Pete Carroll and the Patriots.

New coach Pete Carroll began putting his own stamp on the team Bill Parcells brought to the Super Bowl the previous year. It's no wonder the team got progressively worse after Parcells left. When the Patriots drafted Canty, the cocky rookie was supposed to solidify the right cornerback position with Ty Law manning the other cornerback spot. Canty walked into Foxboro thinking he was better than he really was. Canty was nothing more than a disappointment for the Patriots and their fans, playing only 32 games, starting just 10. In just two seasons, Canty had a grand total of one interception for 12 yards. At least Ty Law lived up to the hype. Canty could not.

Last season, New England traded the 29th overall pick to the Vikings in exchange for Minnesota's second- (No. 52, OLB - Jamie Collins), third- (83, CB - Logan Ryan), fourth- (102, WR - Josh Boyce) and seventh-round picks (226 - DE - Michael Buchanan).
Rookie linebacker Jamie Collins hits Andrew Luck in the playoffs for the Patriots during the 2013 season(Jim Rogash/Getty Images).

The move may prove to be a better use of the 29th pick than in 1997. Collins, with his speed and athletisism, showed signs he could be a budding star at the inside linebacker position. Ryan showed he had a nose for the football at cornerback, intercepting five passes for 82 yards and a touchdown. The jury is still out on Boyce and Buchanan, but it's still early to call them busts.

Whatever the Patriots do come Thursday, May 8th in the first round of the draft, the third time at 29 has a good chance to be memorable for New England.

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Kevin Saleeba is the senior editor and columnist for Patriots Insider. A former beat writer for local media, Kevin has extensive knowledge of the team and experience covering the Patriots. Follow Kevin on Twitter: @KevinSaleeba or like him on Facebook.

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