Patriots Draft: Round Seven - Matt Cassel

<P>The Patriots' 2005 draft was full of surprise choices. From the beginning of the Draft till the end, New England selected players few draft experts had predicted, but ones which fit their needs. USC quarterback Matt Cassel fits the need to improve the competition at the reserve quarterback spot.</P><P>Cassel's experience at USC may remind some of the Patriots current starter, Tom Brady's career at Michigan.</P>

PHOTO: University of Southern California quarterback Matt Cassel poses with the national championship trophy Sunday, Jan. 2, 2005, during media day, in Miami. USC plays No. 2 Oklahoma on Tuesday night in the Orange Bowl for the Bowl Championship Series title. (AP Photo/J. Pat Carter)

Patriots Select Another Brady?
Patriots Insider Staff

Matt Cassel School: USC
Height: 6-5 Weight: 230 40 yard time: 4.82 Year: 5Sr

Quarterback Matt Cassel, 6-5, 230 of USC was chosen in the 7th round of the NFL Draft by the New England Patriots (230th overall).

Cassel is best known in USC circles as the guy who waited patiently on the sidelines while both Carson Palmer and Matt Leinart won the Heisman trophy as they lead the Trojans to success. He competed with Leinart for the starting position, but had to watch patiently from the bench as Leinart continued to lead the team to victory.

Cassel tried his hand at several positions in an attempt to gain playing time, including stints at H-back, Receiver and Tight End. Eventually he tried his hand at baseball after being drafted by the Oakland A's. Cassel decided to return to USC to finish his college career as a reserve on the roster behind Leinart as USC rode their success to the Rose Bowl.

His competition with Leinart, and previously with Carson Palmer, has similarities to Tom Brady's career at Michigan. At Michigan, Brady had to wait and watch Brian Greise lead the Wolverines to a share of the national title. In the following year, he had a quarterback battle with Drew Henson, who eventually opted to play baseball rather than football. Brady eventually won the starting role, but not until he beat out Henson in a close competition.

In spite of not seeing much playing time at quarterback, Cassel wasn't bitter about his experience at USC, and expressed his appreciation for the chance he's been given by the Patriots.

"It's been a long process but I'm fortunate to have been able to work hard and put myself in this position," said Cassel in a conference call with the New England Media.

Cassel is expected to compete with the two other reserve quarterback already on the roster, Rohan Davey and Chris Redman.

More on Cassel can be found here:

USC Pro Day: USC Pro Timing Day

Pro Day Pictures: Photo Gallery

Search All Cassel Stories: Matt Cassel Info

NFL 2005 Combine: Scout Combine Info

Official USC Bio: USC Trojans


Exit Interview: Matt Cassel :: Spring ball battle at QB

Patriots Insiders will be bringing you more information on the Draft as it's available. Be sure to check back often as the front page stories will be updated through out the day.



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