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  • Writer's pictureJoe Pace

New England Sports 366, #53: Chris Slade

Drew Bledsoe was the first overall pick in the 1993 draft. Who did the Pats take with their second pick, the first of the second round? Linebacker Chris Slade, an All-American out of Virginia. This was an underrated draft for New England, by the way. The second round yielded Slade as well as guard Todd Rucci and WR Vincent Brisby, who each played over 80 games for the Pats. And in the eighth round they landed some dude named Troy Brown.

Back to Slade. Andre Tippett was about to retire, and the Pats needed someone to replace some of his fierce outside rush presence. Slade wasn’t Andre Tippett - no one not named Lawrence Taylor is - but he produced 53.5 sacks in his eight years with New England, good for third all time in team history behind Tippett and McGinest and just ahead of Vrabel and Ninkovich.

Slade helped lead the Pats to the Super Bowl after the 1996 season as part of a sneaky-good young defensive unit that included guys like Law, McGinest, and Milloy. After the 1997 season (during which he recorded nine sacks and a pick-six), he would make his only All-Pro team.

When I think about the Pats of the 90s just before the dawning of the dynasty era, Chris Slade is definitely one of the bright spots that comes to mind.

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