BLACKSBURG, Va. - The New England Patriots, known for sly personnel decisions, have a keen eye for talent. They also have a 'Keene' eye.
Friday, the Patriots picked Virginia Tech tight end Dalton Keene with the 101st pick (third round) in the 2020 NFL Draft. Keene, a junior, is the first player from a Virginia college to be selected in the 2020 Draft. He's also the highest-drafted tight end in Tech history.
Keene played in 36 career games for the Hokies, hauling in 59 passes for 748 yards (12.7 avg.) with eight touchdowns. The versatile Littleton, Colorado native tied for fourth on Tech in 2019 with 21 receptions and was second on the squad with five receiving touchdowns. In addition to 240 receiving yards, he also carried the ball 11 times for 33 yards during his junior campaign. He was also selected to the 2019 ACC All-Academic Team.
New England traded with the Jets for the 101st pick and the right to draft Keene. The Patriots sent New York the 125th and 129th selections in the fourth round, and a 2021 sixth-rounder. New England entered the Draft with just two tight ends on its roster.