FOXBOROUGH, Mass. — Safety Jordan Richards is hoping to continue his education when he leaves Stanford to play for Bill Belichick and the defending Super Bowl champion New England Patriots.

“I just want to learn and I’m going to go there and try and be a sponge and soak up as much as I can,” he said Friday night after the Patriots selected him with the last pick in the second round of the NFL draft. “My goal is just to be a sponge and absorb, absorb, absorb.”

The 5-foot-11, 211-pound defensive back was a first-team All-Pac 12 safety and a team captain as a senior who started every game for the Cardinal the past three seasons. He was projected as a sixth- or seventh-round pick, according to, in part because of poor performance on some of the jumping tests at the combine.

But Richards’ smarts and knowledge of the game plan — his teammates called him “Coach Richards” — could make him a good fit for the cerebral Belichick.

“I think I’m a smart player,” he told reporters in a conference call shortly after he was drafted.

A native of Folsom, California, Richards had nine interceptions in his three years as a starter and also forced five fumbles.

New England had two picks at the end of the third round but traded one of those picks to Cleveland.

In exchange for the 96th pick and the Patriots’ seventh-round pick (No. 219 overall), the Browns gave New England picks in the fourth (111), fifth (147) and sixth rounds (202).

The Patriots then used the No. 97 overall pick to select Oklahoma’s Geneo Grissom, a 6-3, 262-pound defensive end.

The 97th pick was a compensatory pick for losing cornerback Aqib Talib as a free agent last offseason.

Richards could help in a defensive backfield that lost cornerbacks Darrelle Revis and Brandon Browner to free agency. Richards’ father grew up in Natick, Massachusetts, and played football at Tufts.

After their trade with Cleveland, the Patriots now have three fourth-round picks, including second pick of the round, which they acquired from Tampa Bay in the Logan Mankins trade. They also have one pick in the fifth round, two in the sixth and one in the seventh.

The New York Giants opened the second day of the draft by making a trade to get Alabama safety Landon Collins.

Looking at their board after the first round ended Thursday, the Giants saw an opportunity to fill a gaping hole in their defense.

So they went to work and engineered a trade with the Tennessee Titans, sending their second- and fourth-round picks and their second pick in the seventh round to the Titans for the right to move up seven spots and take Collins, a player widely projected as a first-round pick.

“He is smart, tough, physical, carries himself like a pro since the day he got to Alabama. He was one of the best interviews at the combine,” said Marc Ross, the vice president of player evaluation. “This guy will bring an attitude and maturity to the defense. This guy will be a leader for us.”

New York finished 29th overall on defense last year. Collins is a perfect fit to shore up the back line of a secondary that gave up way too many big plays. The Giants lost Antrel Rolle and Stevie Brown to free agency, and they only had two inexperienced safeties on the roster, Nat Berhe and Cooper Taylor.

The Giants also looked to shore up the defense in the third round, taking UCLA defensive end Owamagbe Odighizuwa, a talented athlete who still has room to develop.

Collins is more the finished product and would appear to be ready to step in and start next season.

“I am going to be a dominant player when I touch the field,” Collins said in a telephone interview, saying he was hurt that he wasn’t selected in the first round.

The show stoppers Friday night were two Hall of Famers: Jim Kelly and Dick Butkus.

The legendary former players were on hand to announce the second-round selections for the Bills and Bears, respectively. Kelly’s appearance was spell-binding, and after a lengthy standing ovation, he told the audience that he is cancer free.

“I want to thank everyone all over the world, especially my NFL family, for all of your prayers,” Kelly said before announcing Buffalo’s first pick in this draft, Florida State cornerback Ronald Darby at No. 50 overall. “Last year I was in the hospital not knowing if I would be here this year.”

In June 2013, Kelly had surgery to remove cancerous cells in his upper jaw. The cancer then spread to his sinus and he was in a weakened state following two months of treatments last spring.

But he said Friday, “I feel awesome, I was just was cleared after an MRI two weeks ago. I am cancer free. I am having a great time.”

It’s not easy to outdo Butkus in the Windy City, but Kelly did so, drawing yet another huge cheer.

Earlier, Butkus took the stage. Arguably the most beloved football player in this Bears-crazy town, 50 years after he played, his star still shines as brightly as those of Michael Jordan, Ernie Banks and Bobby Hull – his counterparts in basketball, baseball and hockey.

Butkus presented the Bears’ choice and paused for emphasis, saying “I like this,” then announcing nose tackle Eddie Goldman of Florida State.

LSU tackle La’el Collins, once projected to go in the opening round, has not been selected. Though he is not a suspect, police want to speak to him in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, about the killing of a female acquaintance some have identified as an ex-girlfriend.