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NFL Draft 2012: New England Patriots Select Dont'a Hightower At No. 25

With the 25th pick in the 2012 NFL Draft, the New England Patriots have selected Alabama inside linebacker Dont'a Hightower. New England's trade was a stunner, the second move up the board they've made in this first round. The Patriots traded with the Denver Broncos to grab Hightower, whom many scouts and evaluators felt was one of the top defensive players in this year's draft class.

In his junior year in 2011, Hightower was named an All-American, picking up 85 total tackles (including 40 solo tackles), 11 tackles for loss and four sacks. Hightower served as the captain for the No. 1 defense in the country, and he has outstanding gap coverage and an exemplary football IQ. He is expected to be an instant starter in the NFL.

NFL Draft Tracker via Sports Illustrated

Impact on the Giants:

The Giants, seemingly always linked to linebackers, were said to like Hightower. However, he wasn't expected to still be on the board at No. 32.

Dont'a Hightower 2012 NFL Draft Profile (via sbnnfl)

For more on the 2012 NFL Draft, visit SB Nation New York's StoryStream. For a complete list of 2012 NFL Draft results as they happen, visit For even more comprehensive coverage of the NFL Draft, visit Mocking The Draft.