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AJ Derby Goes to Patriots in 6th Round

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Arkansas tight end AJ Derby has been selected by the New England Patriots as the 26th pick in the sixth round, 202nd overall of the 2015 NFL Draft.

Derby is the sixth Razorback tight end to be selected for the NFL Draft and the eighth Arkansas player to be selected by the Patriots following defensive end Trey Flower’s selection by New England in the fourth round.

The Iowa City, Iowa native is the ninth Razorback to be drafted under second-year head coach Bret Bielema. Derby is Bielema’s fourth tight end to be drafted in his eight-year head coaching career.

After seeing action in seven games and starting two in his junior year, he switched to tight end in the 2014 fall camp. He made an immediate impact for the Razorbacks’ tight end corps, starting seven games and appearing in 11 before suffering an injury to close the season.

Derby earned 303 yards receiving on 22 catches and three touchdowns in his final season. Derby was also an essential blocker for running backs Alex Collins and Jonathan Williams, who were the only FBS teammates to each rush for 1,000-plus yards in the 2014 season.

Derby follows in the footsteps of his father, John, who played for the Detroit Lions and Cleveland Browns, and his uncle Glenn Derby, a former offensive lineman for the New Orleans Saints.