Malcom Brown watched the draft with his family in Austin. As the first round wound down, Brown became more anxious.
He was supposed to be long gone.
The University of Texas defensive tackle thought he might go as early as No. 7 to the Bears. He lasted until No. 32, the last pick of the first round, to the Patriots.
“It was very anxious, a very long day and a very long process,” Brown said. “I was just ready to get off the board, and I just couldn’t wait. All the [anxiety] was building up, and it was just all coming down to that last pick, the last pick of the first round. So, I was just ready.”
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The Patriots had trade offers for their choice, but Brown was too good to pass up. So they stayed put and got their replacement for Vince Wilfork, who departed for Houston in free agency.
“Based on the players that were on the board, we felt like he was the best player for us,” Patriots coach Bill Belichick said. “So, a combination of his talent, work ethic, production, skill set relative to what we’re looking for, we felt like he was the best for us.”
The Longhorns, who didn’t have a player drafted in 2014, begin a new streak with Brown. Safety Kenny Vaccaro had been the only UT player drafted in the first round in the past four years.
Although he didn’t necessarily foresee the three-hour wait he endured, Brown said it was worth the wait. He goes to the defending Super Bowl champions.
“It means a lot,” Brown said. “You go to a winning team, contributing to something that’s already great and trying to add whatever I can to the program. It’s a great feeling.”
Brown, who left UT early to support his wife and two children, has never been to Boston. Asked what he knows about his new home, Brown answered, “Celtics. That’s about it.”
Charean Williams, 817-390-7760