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NFL Draft’s Potential Patriots: South Carolina G A.J. Cann

03.19.15 at 9:28 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 2015 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.

A.J. Cann (right) (Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)

A.J. Cann (right) is known as a standout run blocker. (Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)

A.J. CANN

Position: Guard

School: South Carolina

Height: 6-foot-4

Weight: 311 pounds

Achievements: 2014 All-American, 2014 All-SEC, 2013 All-SEC, 2011 Freshman All-America first team

What he brings: Scouts see Cann as one of the best run blockers among guards in the draft. He uses his bulk and strength to drive defenders back and create holes for running backs. He is athletic for his size and is expected to be able to move around and get to the area where blocks need to be made. He is not as tall as many other offensive linemen, but experts like how he uses his strength and athleticism to overcome his size difference.

Where the Patriots could get him: Rounds 2-3

Notes: Cann was named permanent team captain to start his 2013 junior year and was named captain again in 2014. He started all but one game through his four years at South Carolina. ESPN.com ranks Cann as the third guard and 60th overall in the draft.

Related articles:

GoGamecocks.com: Cann’s draft diary

Greenville Online: Cann on NFL-readiness

Video: Here’s an analysis of A.J. Cann’s game from Senior Bowl executive director Phil Savage.

Read More: 2015 NFL Draft, 2015 Potential Patriots, A.J. Cann,

Steve Addazio: Tyler Murphy ready to take on NFL as ‘an elite athlete’

03.18.15 at 11:15 pm ET
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CHESTNUT HILL — Tyler Murphy has overcome big odds before.

The quarterback who made a name for himself in one season at Boston College as a graduate student came to The Heights as a quarterback who was tossed aside by the University of Florida.

During Florida’s 2013 homecoming loss to Vanderbilt, Murphy injured his shoulder, and redshirt freshman quarterback Skyler Mornhinweg played in Florida’s final 3 games. The 2013 Gators team finished 4-8, marking their 1st losing record since 1979 and the 1st time since 1990 that they didn’t play in a bowl. But if there was one thing the Florida quarterback became known for during his short stint in Gainesville, it was his ability to run with the football.

After the poor 2013 season, Murphy became one of several Florida players who chose to transfer to a different school. He transferred to Boston College in January 2014 as a graduate student.

Boston College coach Steve Addazio, and former Florida offensive coordinator, named him the team’s starting quarterback after the school’s annual Spring game, which served as a tryout for Murphy as well as the other, younger quarterbacks on the team.

Murphy immediately blossomed in his new home. His ability as a running quarterback fit in perfectly with Addazio’s rush-heavy offense. Over the season, Murphy lead the team to a 7’€“6 record, highlighted by a upset victory over No. 9 USC in October, a game in which Murphy ran for 191 yards. He broke the school record for rushing yards by a quarterback (both single-season and career), passing BC legend Doug Flutie in only nine games. In the final game of the season against Syracuse, he broke the ACC single-season rushing record by a quarterback with 1,079 yards.

“He’ll have to play that position,” Addazio said Wednesday. “The simple answer is yes. But he can do a lot of things. He is an elite athlete. These guys are all talking about it here. He’s an elite athlete. He’ll do whatever it takes, yeah. Whatever he has to do, no doubt.”

The real question is will an NFL team see enough from Murphy to either take a chance with a late-round pick or (more likely) sign him as a rookie free agent?

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Read More: 2015 NFL Draft, Boston College, Tyler Murphy,

Steve Addazio: Andy Gallik is ‘going to have a great future’ in the NFL

03.18.15 at 9:55 pm ET
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Andy Gallik (59) anchored a powerful offensive line at Boston College. (Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)

Andy Gallik (59) anchored a powerful offensive line at Boston College. (Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)

CHESTNUT HILL — Of the 18 players on the field turf of the bubble-covered Alumni Stadium, no one has a bigger and brighter projected future in the NFL than center Andy Gallik. And his coach at Boston College made that much clear Wednesday during BC’s annual Pro Day workout.

“Andy’s going to have a great future playing,” Steve Addazio said of the All-ACC center. “Everybody likes him. His film doesn’t lie. He has really good film. He’s done well in the different workouts he’s had. The line coaches that have met with him or worked him out like him a lot. I’m sure he’s going to do well.”

Gallik is a pure center capable of playing guard but that’s not where Addazio, an offensive line guru himself, sees the stout lineman playing at the next level.

“He’s not strictly a center. He can play guard but he’s uniquely a good center,” Addazio said. “But he sure could play guard but he’s just got that knack. To watch him snap. To watch him shotgun snap a ball for example, or under center snap it and pull to the perimeter, I think he’s gifted. He’s one of the better guys I’ve seen do that. It’s just natural for him. He’s got great balance and he can run. I don’t know what the 40-times are but when you watch him on film, he runs well when he pulls and I think that’s a unique ability he has. And he’s bright. He calls every protection.”

Gallik’s resume is beyond impressive. He started all 12 regular-season games at center. He was named one of six Rimington Trophy finalists, awarded to the nation’s top center. He earned All-Atlantic Coast Conference first-team honors from the Atlantic Coast Sports Media Association and second-team honors by the head coaches.

He also earned All-New England recognition by the area’s writers and named to ESPN.com’s All-ACC Team. He earned ACC Offensive Lineman of the Week honors after leading the Eagles to 452 rushing yards, five rushing touchdowns and 506 total yards in the 37-31 upset of No. 9 Southern California (Sept. 13). Gallik graded out at 85 percent (BC coaches scale) and had three knockdowns in the victory. He was a key member of the offensive line that produced the 14th-best rushing attack in the nation, averaging 251.8 yards per game, second-best in the ACC.

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Read More: 2015 NFL Draft, Andy Gallik, Boston College,

Patriots officially announce signings of DL Alan Branch, CBs Bradley Fletcher and Robert McClain

03.18.15 at 5:58 pm ET
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The Patriots officially announced the signings of defensive lineman Alan Branch and cornerbacks Bradley Fletcher and Robert McClain on Wednesday afternoon. Here’€™s a portion of the statement from the team on the moves:

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Read More: Alan Branch, Bradley Fletcher, NFL free agency 2015, Robert McClain

Patriots submit 3 rule change proposals prior to NFL owners meetings

03.18.15 at 3:43 pm ET
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Many topics will be discussed next week at the NFL owners meetings in Phoenix — one of them being the rules within the game.

Prior to the meetings teams can submit rule change proposals, and the Patriots have submitted three:

1. Challenges to include anything
Coaches could challenge any part of plays, including penalties.

2. Fixed cameras on boundary lines
This is a topic Bill Belichick has talked about for years where he would like cameras positioned on all boundary lines (sidelines, end lines, goal lines), instead of using the TV camera angles for reviews. Belichick thinks this would help get all calls right via instant replay.

3. Extra points moved back to the 15-yard line
This is another topic Belichick has talked about for years. To make the extra-point a more competitive play, he would like the ball to be placed on the 15-yard line, opposed to the 2-yard line.

Also of note, the competition committee has a proposal that would require an eligible receiver who reports as ineligible be restricted to line up within the tackle box. This comes after the AFC divisional round when the Patriots declared eligible receivers ineligible, and helped them in their comeback win over the Ravens.

For more Patriots news, visit weei.com/patriots.

Read More: Bill Belichick,

NFL Draft’s Potential Patriots: Florida State G Josue Matias

03.18.15 at 3:29 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 2015 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.

Josue Matias (Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)

Josue Matias did not post great numbers at the combine, but he helped Florida State win a national championship. (Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)

JOSUE MATIAS

Position: Guard

School: Florida State

Height: 6-foot-6

Weight: 325 pounds

Achievements: 2014 All-ACC, 2013 All-ACC, 2012 All-ACC

What he brings: Many scouts see Matias as a sound all-around player who can play a complementary role on an offensive line, but he isn’t expected to be a star. He is praised for using his size and length to reach defenders first and establish a base in pass protection, and keeping his motor running in the running game to move defenders out of the way. The main concern has to do with his athleticism, as he is on the slower side after his first step, and he may have trouble moving his big frame to the point of contact on mobile blocks.

Where the Patriots could get him: Rounds 6-7

Notes: Matias had some injury trouble in high school, which led to him missing his senior season with a knee problem, but he made 43 consecutive starts for the Seminoles dating back to his 2011 freshman season. ESPN.com ranks him as the 11th guard and 190th overall in the draft. Matias did not test particularly well at the combine, finishing toward the bottom in all of the speed/agility tests that he participated in. Following his disappointing results at the combine, NFL.com’s Gil Brandt said that, despite not looking athletic, “Matias was a three-year starter on a very successful team. He also simply did not give up sacks.” His name is pronounced Hoe-sway Muh-tee-us.

Related articles:

CBSSports.com: Q&A with Matias from October 2014

New York Post: Matias’ journey from NJ to FSU

Video: Matias (70) and the rest of the FSU offensive line match up against Clemson in 2013.

Read More: 2015 NFL Draft, 2015 Potential Patriots, Josue Matias,

CB Robert McClain says he has joined Patriots

03.18.15 at 1:14 pm ET
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Cornerback Robert McClain tweeted out the news Wednesday afternoon that he had apparently agreed to a deal with the Patriots.

The 5-foot-9, 180-pound McClain, a seventh-round pick of the Panthers in 2010, has spent four seasons in the league, and has three picks and 158 tackles in his professional career. The former UConn standout had his best season last year with the Falcons, where he started six games, had one sack, two interceptions and added 49 tackles.

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

Read More: NFL free agency 2015, Robert McClain,
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