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NFL Draft’s Potential Patriots: Louisville FS Calvin Pryor

04.01.14 at 4:58 pm ET
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WEEI.com will continue to offer daily insight and analysis regarding options that may be available to the Patriots when it comes to the 2014 NFL draft. Here is one in a series of profiles of players who could be on the board when it’€™s time for the Patriots to make a selection.

Calvin Pryor (AP)

Calvin Pryor showed his strength and had one of the top performances at the NFL scouting combine with 18 reps on the bench press. (AP)

CALVIN PRYOR

Position: Free safety

School: Louisville

Height: 5-foot-11

Weight: 207 pounds

Achievements: 2013 first-team All-AAC, 2012 second-team All-Big East

What he brings: Pryor is a strong player with good size who has solid ball skills and tackling ability. Analysts also say, though, that Pryor’€™s physical style of play can become a problem because he is occasionally lacks discipline.

Where the Patriots could get him: Rounds 1-2

Notes: Pryor was suspended for a game against Memphis on Nov. 23 after he violated an unspecified team rule. … He was second on the team with 75 tackles during the 2013 season. … At the NFL scouting combine, Pryor did 18 bench press reps — one of the top performances at the combine.

Related articles:

Yahoo! Sports: Louisville safety Calvin Pryor set to make impact in NFL draft

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: Tale of 2 safeties: Pryor, Clinton-Dix offer different skill sets

Video: Here is a highlight video from Pryor’s time at Louisville

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Report: Veteran defensive end Will Smith visiting with Patriots

04.01.14 at 2:55 pm ET
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The Patriots are hosting defensive end Will Smith on a free agent visit, according to ESPN.

The 32-year-old veteran, who was cut loose as part of the great New Orleans salary purge of 2014, has 67.5 career sacks, but has struggled over the last few seasons, and is coming off a torn ACL that left him sidelined for the 2013 season.

New England is likely be in the market for a low-cost answer at defensive end/situational pass rusher behind starters Rob Ninkovich and Chandler Jones — youngsters Michael Buchanan and Jake Bequette have been underwhelming to this point in their careers, while 34-year-old veteran Andre Carter is an unrestricted free agent.

For more Patriots news, check out weei.com/patriots.

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NFL Draft’s Potential Patriots: Ohio State RB Carlos Hyde

04.01.14 at 9:21 am ET
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WEEI.com will continue to offer daily insight and analysis regarding options that may be available to the Patriots when it comes to the 2014 NFL draft. Here is one is a series of profiles of players who could be on the board when it’s time for the Patriots to make a selection.

Carlos Hyde (AP)

Carlos Hyde is a big, bruising running back who averaged a whopping 7.3 yards per carry as an Ohio State senior in 2013. (AP)

CARLOS HYDE

Position: Running back

School: Ohio State

Height: 6-foot

Weight: 230 pounds

Achievements: 2013 third-team AP All-American, 2013 first-team All-Big Ten, 2012 second-team All-Big Ten

What he brings: One of the bigger backs in college, Hyde brings a bruising style of running that can be dominant at times. While not the fastest back, he has good speed and quickness to go with his hard-hitting ways. Hyde can take hits well and churn his legs to get tough yards. Scouts are concerned about his lack of consistency and willingness to hit the hole despite his bigger frame.

Where the Patriots could get him: Round 2

Notes: In 2013, Hyde ran for 1,521 yards and 15 touchdowns, adding 16 catches for 147 yards and three TDs. He averaged 7.3 yards per carry, tying him for eighth best in the nation. … At the scouting combine, Hyde only ran a 4.66 40-yard dash, reportedly pulling his left hamstring during the run. … Hyde was suspended for the first three games of the 2013 season by Ohio State because of a video that surfaced showing the 23-year-old attempt to strike a woman at a bar.

Related articles:

ESPN.com: Hyde suspended at least 3 games

Profootballtalk: Carlos Hyde hurts hamstring while running 40 at combine

Video: Here are Hyde’€™s 2013 highlights with Ohio State.

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Report: Patriots will visit with veteran free agent RB Michael Bush

03.31.14 at 11:32 pm ET
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The Patriots are set to host running back Michael Bush on a free agent visit, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL Media.

The 29-year-old Bush has been in the league for six years, and the 6-foot-1, 245-pounder had moderate success with Oakland — he had three years of 500-plus yards (2009-11) while with the Raiders, including a career-best 977 rushing yards on 256 carries with Oakland in 2011. However, he had two subpar seasons with the Bears, including just 197 rushing yards last season in Chicago.

New England is likely looking at possible replacements for veteran running back LeGarrette Blount, who recently departed as a free agent. In addition to Bush, there are a handful of veterans who remain on the market, as well as some possibilities when it comes to the draft.

For more Patriots news, check out weei.com/patriots.

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NFL mock draft roundup, Take 2: Analysts all over map when predicting who Patriots will take at 29

03.31.14 at 6:25 pm ET
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UCLA's Xavier Su'€™a-Filo is one possibility for Patriots at No. 29. (AP)

UCLA’s Xavier Su’€™a-Filo is one possibility for Patriots at No. 29. (AP)

With rush of free agency just about done and the pre-draft process in full swing, here’s a fresh roundup of analysis from experts on who the Patriots will take at No. 29. (For what it’s worth, we have New England going after Minnesota defensive lineman Ra’Shede Hageman if they stick at 29.)

Daniel Jeremiah, NFL.com (updated March 20) UCLA offensive lineman Xavier Su’a-Filo
Rob Rang, CBS Sports (updated March 31) Louisville free safety Calvin Pryor
Dane Brugler, CBS Sports (updated March 31) Alabama inside linebacker C.J. Mosley
Pete Prisco, CBS Sports (updated March 26) Notre Dame defensive lineman Louis Nix III
Pat Kirwan, CBS Sports (updated March 28) Oregon State defensive end Scott Crichton
Will Brinson, CBS Sports (updated March 20) Minnesota defensive lineman Ra’Shede Hageman
Chris Burke, SI.com (updated March 28) Auburn defensive end/outside linebacker Dee Ford
Todd McShay, ESPN Insider (updated March 6 — behind pay wall) Minnesota defensive lineman Ra’Shede Hageman

Read More: C.J. Mosley, Calvin Pryor, Dee Ford, Louis Nix III Print  |  Bark It Up!  |  Digg It

NFL Draft’s Potential Patriots: Florida State CB Lamarcus Joyner

03.31.14 at 5:16 pm ET
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WEEI.com will continue to offer daily insight and analysis regarding options that may be available to the Patriots when it comes to the 2014 NFL draft. Here is one in a series of profiles of players who could be on the board when it’€™s time for the Patriots to make a selection.

Lamarcus Joyner (AP)

Lamarcus Joyner moved from safety to cornerback in 2013 and helped Florida State to a national championship. (AP)

LAMARCUS JOYNER

Position: Cornerback

School: Florida State

Height: 5-foot-8

Weight: 184 pounds

Achievements: Unanimous All-American, finalist for Jim Thorpe and Bronko Nagurski Awards, winner of the Ultimate Herbie Award, All-ACC first team (coaches, media)

What he brings: As someone who has spent time as both a safety and a cornerback, Joyner has versatility and, according to analysts, an aggressive approach to the game. At 5-foot-8, though, his size is a concern.

Where the Patriots could get him: Round 2

Notes: After deciding to stay at Florida State for his senior season, Joyner opted to move to corner so that he could show his versatility to NFL teams. He went on to record 69 tackles with two interceptions and a team-leading 5.5 sacks.

Related articles:

NFL.com: Florida State DB Lamarcus Joyner offers unrivaled versatility

FOXSports.com: Lamarcus Joyner’s draft stock rising after senior season

Video: Here is a video featuring highlights of Joyner’s 2013 season with Florida State

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NFL Draft’s Potential Patriots: Baylor SS Ahmad Dixon

03.31.14 at 9:58 am ET
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WEEI.com will continue to offer daily insight and analysis regarding options that may be available to the Patriots when it comes to the 2014 NFL draft. Here is one in a series of profiles of players who could be on the board when it’€™s time for the Patriots to make a selection.

Ahmad Dixon (AP)

Ahmad Dixon (left) is a hard-hitting safety who showed some positional versatility during his time at Baylor. (AP)

AHMAD DIXON

Position: Strong safety

School: Baylor

Height: 6-foot-0

Weight: 212 pounds

Achievements: 2013 Sporting News, AFCA first-team All-American, 2013 unanimous first-team All-Big 12, 2012, 2011 All-Big 12 honorable mention

What he brings: Dixon has solid speed and good size for his position, and he’s known as an aggressive tackler. Analysts note that he needs to work toward a better vision and understanding of the game. At the scouting combine, he was timed at 4.64 in the 40-yard dash, 7.54 in the 3-cone drill and 12.01 in the 60-yard shuttle. He improved on all three numbers at Baylor’s pro day on March 19, producing a 4.52 dash, a 7.28 3-cone and an 11.16 shuttle.

Where the Patriots could get him: Rounds 3-5

Notes: Dixon was arrested after he allegedly assaulted a man who Dixon believed broke into his house. He was cleared of the charges by a grand jury in December. … Dixon was ejected from a game and suspended from half a game during the 2013 season after he was called for targeting during Baylor’€™s contest against TCU on Nov. 30. Dixon played at nickelback during his sophomore and junior seasons before settling in at safety as a senior.

Related articles:

ESPN.com: NFL combine is key for former Big 12 stars

DallasCowboys.com: Ahmad Dixon sees Williams like family, big brother

Video: Here is a video highlighting Dixon’s career at Baylor

Read More: 2014 NFL Draft, 2014 Potential Patriots, Ahmad Dixon, Print  |  Bark It Up!  |  Digg It
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