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NFLPA will not hold event opposite draft

03.28.11 at 5:19 pm ET
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According to a report from Adam Schefter of ESPN, the NFLPA will not hold an event opposite the NFL on the first night of the draft.

However, the NFLPA is still encouraging potential draft picks not to attend the draft, which will be held April 28-30 in New York City. Schefter reported earlier in March that 17 top prospects who were expected to receive invitations to attend the draft had been contacted by the NFLPA and asked not to appear at the draft.

The Big Board: Updated list of Patriots’ private workouts

03.28.11 at 4:21 pm ET
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Here’€™s our latest list of players who have had or will have private workouts or meetings with the Patriots. It should be noted that (as we stated here previously) private workouts are a way for a team to gather additional ‘€œintel,’€ in the words of one veteran agent, to try and figure out if that prospect might be a good fit for their system. There’€™s also the real possibility that some of these workouts are bonafide attempts at misdirection, hoping to get another team interested in a prospect simply because the Patriots have feigned interest. In addition, this is by no means a complete list ‘€” simply a rundown of those we have independently verified:

Offense
Hillsdale wide receiver Andre Holmes
Florida offensive lineman Mike Pouncey
Maryland wide receiver Torrey Smith
Kentucky wide receiver Chris Matthews
Virginia Tech running back Ryan Williams
Nevada tight end Virgil Green
TCU quarterback Andy Dalton
TCU wide receiver Jeremy Kerley
Alabama quarterback Greg McElroy
Iowa quarterback Ricky Stanzi
Missouri offensive lineman Tim Barnes

Defense
Citadel defensive back Cortez Allen
Miami defensive lineman Allen Bailey
Northwestern defensive lineman Corbin Bryant
Missouri defensive back Kevin Rutland
UTC defensive back Buster Skrine
Hampton defensive lineman Kenrick Ellis
South Florida defensive lineman Terrell McClain

In addition, it’€™s been reported by multiple outlets the following players will have or have had private workouts or meetings with the Patriots:

Offense
Connecticut running back Jordan Todman (via National Football Post)
Mount Union wide receiver Cecil Shorts (via NEPatriotsDraft.com)
Montana State offensive lineman Mike Person (via Bozeman Daily Chronicle)
Texas Tech quarterback Taylor Potts (via SI.com)
Maryland running back Da’€™Rel Scott (via SI.com)
Kentucky wide receiver Randall Cobb (via SI.com)
Kentucky running back Derrick Locke (via SI.com)
Colorado offensive lineman Nate Solder (via National Football Post)

Defense
Fresno State defensive back Desia Dunn (via Fresnostate.scout.com)
Louisville defensive back Johnny Patrick (via ESPNBoston)
South Florida cornerback Mistral Raymond (via ESPNBoston)
Temple defensive back Jaiquawn Jarrett (via National Football Post)
Maryland linebacker Adrien Moten (via National Football Post)

And here’€™s the Pro Day schedule for the next few days:
March 29: Coastal Carolina, Texas, UCLA, Utah
March 30: New Mexico State, North Carolina Central, Northern Iowa, Southern ‘€¨California, Texas A&M-Kingsville, Washington
March 31: North Carolina, Stephen F. Austin
April 1: Eastern Washington
April 4: Southern Methodist
April 7: Jacksonville State, Notre Dame

Read More: 2011 NFL Draft,

Fred Taylor says he has two more years left

03.28.11 at 11:48 am ET
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Patriots running back Fred Taylor told Jaguars beat writer Tania Ganguli of the Florida Times-Union that he thinks he has two more years left in the NFL, and that being sidelined for most of the 2010 season has left him feeling like it bought him some extra time.

According to Ganguli, Taylor seemed conflicted about whether he should retire or continue playing. The 35-year-old will be a free agent if he decides to return to the league.

Taylor also said that he thinks the labor situation will be resolved in a month.

Read More: Fred Taylor,

Patriots will have a private workout with USF DL Terrell McClain

03.27.11 at 4:11 pm ET
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We’€™ve known about the Patriots’ interest in Terrell McClain for some time now, but we have now been able to confirm that New England will now hold a private workout with the University of South Florida defensive lineman some time in the next week.

The Patriots and coach Bill Belichick were at USF Pro Day late last week, and got a closer look at McClain, a 6-foot-2, 297-pounder who was first-team All-BIG EAST as a senior. He started 24 games over his final two seasons as a collegian, and finished his college career with 7.5 sacks. McClain has posted a 40 time of 4.98 and 29 reps of 225 pounds in the bench press.

‘€œWhen you look at him physically, I think probably measurable-wise [McClain’€™s] one of our best draft candidates,’€ USF coach Skip Holtz told Tampabay.com late in the 2010 season. ‘€œWhen you look at his height, weight, speed, athleticism, the level of play he’€™s playing at, I think he’€™s doing a great job. I think Terrell has such great athleticism up front, with what he’€™s able to do moving around, creating some havoc and getting penetration ‘€¦ as I sit down and watch him, I think he’€™s the complete package.’€

The report of the Patriots scheduled workout with McClain was first reported by the Tampa Tribune, which also has a great look at USF Pro Day here.

Read More: 2011 NFL Draft, Bill Belichick, Skip Holtz, Terrell McClain

Jon Morris on Hall call from Robert Kraft: ‘It was overwhelming’

03.27.11 at 4:04 pm ET
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The Patriots have just issued the following announcement regarding the selection of center Jon Morris to the Patriots Hall of Fame:

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. ‘€“ The New England Patriots announced today that center Jon Morris has been selected to the Patriots Hall of Fame by a 10-person senior selection committee. The selection was made on Friday, March 25 and affirmed with a phone call from Patriots Chairman and CEO Robert Kraft, who notified Morris of his induction later that afternoon.

‘€œIt was overwhelming,’€ said Morris of his reaction to the call from Kraft. ‘€œI thought my days were numbered. This announcement came as a complete surprise. I consider this the crowning achievement of my football life and I am so thankful to the Kraft family and the selection committee for allowing me to experience this feeling.

‘€œWhen I first retired from the Patriots, the alumni were not meant to feel welcome. I don’€™t say that to be critical, it was just different. Once your career was over, it was over. You cannot be a player forever and we understood that. But, when the Kraft family came along, they changed all that. It hasn’€™t been just a one-time thing, either. They have maintained a relationship with the alumni since he bought the team. I just think that is the neatest thing that has ever happened. It is one of the reasons that being in the hall of fame is such a big deal. They have made it a big deal. I give the Krafts all the credit for making the alumni feel so special and I look forward to being a part of this year’€™s hall of fame ceremony.’€
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Read More: Jim Nance, John Hannah, Jon Morris, Mike Holovak

Jon Morris named to Patriots Hall of Fame

03.27.11 at 11:32 am ET
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Jon Morris, a six-time AFL All-Star with the Boston Patriots and the first player to earn a Pro Bowl nod for the New England Patriots following the merger of the AFL and NFL, was named to the Patriots’ Hall of Fame on Sunday.

It was the fourth time on the Hall of Fame ballot for the center, who played for the Patriots from 1964-74. His combined seven All-Star selections rank second in franchise history, trailing only John Hannah (nine). Morris was voted in by the senior committee, which meets every five years to consider candidates who have been retired for at least 25 years.

Morris will be enshrined — at a date to be determined, thanks to the current lockout — with one of the three finalists selected by the Hall of Fame Nomination Committee. The three finalists will be announced on April 15, with fan balloting ending on May 15.

Read More: Jon Morris, New England Patriots,

Updates on the Patriots and their work with prospects Kenrick Ellis, Ricky Stanzi and Tim Barnes

03.26.11 at 12:03 pm ET
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A few quick notes on private workouts and the Patriots:

‘€¢The Patriots worked out Hampton defensive tackle Kenrick Ellis on Friday, according to his agent. A massive prospect at 6-foot-5 and 346 pounds, many have him pegged as a second- or third-round prospect who could play on the nose and at five-technique in the NFL. Ellis was dismissed from South Carolina early in his collegiate career (reportedly for a failed drug test), something he addressed at the combine last month.

‘€œI had character issues,’€ he said at the combine, where he ran a 5.16 40 and hit 26 reps of 225 pounds. ‘€œI had disciplinary problems. They did everything they could. It just didn’€™t work out for me. I had to get out of there. I had to look within myself and change a lot of things within myself and around me. And after I changed those things, it was pretty much easy after that. I had to realize that I had a problem, and I confronted it and overcame it.’€

As a senior, Ellis was first Team All-MEAC. He finished second on the team in tackles with 94 total tackles (34 solo, 60 assisted), and was also second on the team with 15.0 tackles for loss, totaling 37 yards.

‘€¢In addition, it was confirmed that Iowa quarterback Ricky Stanzi was worked out by the Patriots on the Iowa campus on Thursday. (The news was first reported by ESPNBoston.com.) Stanzi, a 6-foot-4, 223-pounder, is projected by most as a mid-round selection, but has an ace in the hole when it comes to the Patriots ‘€” he’€™s spent the pre-draft process working with Bay Area quarterbacking guru Tom Martinez, who has served as Tom Brady‘€™s advisor for almost 20 years.

‘€œWe’€™ve been working on a lot of mechanical stuff, talking about the throwing motion, the science of it,’€ Stanzi said of Martinez, who has tutored Brady since the Patriots quarterback was a teenager. ‘€œThe same with the footwork and getting down to the nitty gritty details, finding little tweaks or different moves that might be able to help you get a little more speed on the ball, get the ball a little bit deeper. At the same time, keeping what you do and fine-tuning it, finding some things you hadn’€™t known about, and now you can throw the ball with a little more power or deeper.’€
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Read More: 2011 NFL Draft, Blaine Gabbert, Kenrick Ellis, Ricky Stanzi
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