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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

Why I gave these three a Hall Pass

03.25.11 at 7:34 pm ET
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For the second straight year, I was honored to be asked to be a part of the Patriots Hall of Fame nomination committee, which got together Friday afternoon to take the first steps in the process that will end with another former player or coach ending up in the Patriots Hall of Fame. Writers and broadcasters (as well as employees of the team and former players) were brought together to submit candidates. The committee chooses three finalists, who will be announced on April 15, and then fans will be able to vote on one inductee.

A bunch of impressive names were part of the discussion, including coaches Bill Parcells, Raymond Berry and Chuck Fairbanks. On the offensive side of the ball, there was quarterback Drew Bledsoe, center Jon Morris, offensive tackle Leon Gray, wide receiver Irving Fryar, tight end Russ Francis and running back Curtis Martin. On defense, linemen Houston Antwine and Julius Adams and cornerback Raymond Clayborn were also brought up.

The night before, I solicited some opinions on Twitter, but after almost 90 minutes of back-and-forth ‘€” and listening to some great debate ‘€” my ballot looked like this:
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Read More: Bill Parcells, Chuck Fairbanks, Curtis Martin, Drew Bledsoe

The Big Board: Updated List of Patriots’ Private Workouts

03.25.11 at 9:54 am ET
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It’s not easy working guys out ‘€” just ask Patriots director of player personnel Nick Caserio, who was putting Nevada tight end Virgil Green through his paces at the Wolfpack Pro Day earlier this week. Thanks to this picture, it looks like he got jacked up pretty good. (The photo is courtesy of our friends at SilverandBlueSports.com.)

Here’€™s our latest list of players who have had or will have private workouts or meetings with the Patriots. 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

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

(UPDATED, 11:47 a.m.: Hampton defensive lineman Kenrick Ellis worked out Friday for the Patriots, according to a league source.)

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)

Defense
Fresno State defensive back Desia Dunn (via Fresnostate.scout.com)
Louisville defensive back Johnny Patrick (via ESPNBoston)
South Florida defensive tackle Terrell McClain (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 28: Central Missouri, Cincinnati, Citadel, Missouri Western, Northwest Missouri State, Rice
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, Nick Caserio,

Bill Belichick, Jason Licht in attendance at USF pro day

03.24.11 at 5:34 pm ET
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The Patriots have been out on the scouting trail at pro days for the last few weeks ‘€” they had four people at Boston College on Wednesday, including offensive line coach Dante Scarnecchia ‘€” and Thursday, coach Bill Belichick and Director of Pro Personnel Jason Licht were both in attendance at pro day for the University of South Florida.

The South Florida program has really come on as of late, and there were apparently two major prospects there that have drawn the attention of the Patriots. According to multiple sources, New England has already expressed interest in defensive tackle Terrell McClain, a 6-foot-2, 297-pounder who was first-team All-Big East as a senior. (For more on McClain, check out our story on him here.)

In addition, according to those who were in attendance Thursday, Belichick ‘€” after a lengthy conversation with USF coach Skip Holtz ‘€” also put in serious work with the USF wide receiving corps, a group that includes Dontavia Bogan. One source indicated that Belichick was “all over Bogan,” and said that Belichick and Licht were interviewing him after the workout. Bogan is a 6-foot, 187-pounder who had 107 receptions for 1,534 yards and 12 touchdowns in his college career, including 47 catches for 685 yards and six touchdowns as a senior.

Read More: 2011 NFL Draft, Bill Belichick, Dante Scarnecchia, Dontavia Bogan

Tom Brady, Captain of Industry

03.24.11 at 3:38 pm ET
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Tom Brady is not only a big deal in the football world, he’s also apparently a big wheel in the business world as well. The Patriots quarterback recently sold his New York City condo for $17.5 million (the same condo he paid $14 million for in 2006) to Robert Stiller, the head of the Green Mountain Coffee.

And now, it turns out that Brady has replaced Tiger Woods as an example for economic theory in the academic world. For many years, the widely-used economic textbook “Principles of Economics” helped explain economic theory with a chapter entitled “Should Tiger Woods Mow His Own Lawn?” But for the latest edition, author Greg Mankiw has replaced Woods with Brady. Why did he do it? Mankiw told the Harvard Crimson that he and his editor chose Brady because he was another celebrity athlete. (Previous editions of the textbook also used Michael Jordan as an example.)

“From my perspective, this was a relatively small change,” wrote Mankiw in an email to ABC News. “I wanted students to focus on the economics of comparative advantage ‘€” the main point of this section of the book. I was afraid that keeping Tiger Woods in the hypothetical example would have raised thoughts of an altogether different set of issues.”

Read More: Greg Mankiw, Michael Jordan, Robert Stiller, Tiger Woods

BC’s Anthony Castonzo could face big decision when it comes to attending the NFL draft

03.23.11 at 9:57 pm ET
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Boston College offensive lineman Anthony Castonzo is expected to be one of the top tackles taken in this year’€™s NFL draft, possibly in the upper levels of the first round.

But it sounds like he hasn’€™t made his decision quite yet on what to do if he gets an invitation to attend the proceedings in New York. With the National Football League Players’€™ Association reportedly pressuring rookies into skipping this year’€™s draft proceedings, Castonzo sounds genuinely unsure about what he might do if he gets an invitation.

‘€œIt would kind of have to be a tough decision to make,’€ he said after working out at BC’€™s pro day on Wednesday. ‘€œYou obviously don’€™t want to walk into a locker room the first day and have everybody who is part of the players’€™ association [and] be that one guy who decided to go against them.’€

The 6-foot-7, 313-pound Castonzo ‘€” who was slotted to go 13th overall to Detroit in the latest WEEI.com mock draft ‘€” is a fast riser on the heels of standout performances at the Senior Bowl and the NFL scouting combine.

‘€œI think Castonzo is a top 15 pick,’€ said NFL Network draft analyst Mike Mayock. ‘€œI like him in the run game too even though he was on the left side. He also did well at the Senior Bowl. They moved him around a lot and with the exception of a few snaps in the game he had a good week.’€

Read More: 2011 NFL Draft, Anthony Castonzo,

Complete list of teams and players in attendance at BC’s pro day

03.23.11 at 4:36 pm ET
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The following players were listed as being in attendance at Boston College pro day on Wednesday afternoon:

BC: Alex Albright, Anthony Castonzo, Thomas Claiborne, DeLeon Gause, Mark Herzlich, Rich Lapham, James McCluskey, Jordon McMichael, Damik Scafe.
American International College: Robert Parent, Jashawn Williams
Assumption College: David Canney, Matt Sidebottom, Herb Woodard
Bentley University: Paul Branco
Curry College: Matt Alksninis
Fitchburg State: Kyle Callahan
Framingham State: Jason Patterson
Harvard University: Gino Gordon, Marco Oannuzzi, Chuks Obi, Brent Osborne, Collin Zych
Holy Cross: Anthony DiMichele, Alex Johnson, Mudiaga Ohimor, Freddie Santana
Marist College: Rory Foley
Merrimack College: Greg Abelli
University of New Hampshire: Hugo Souza
Stonehill College: Clark Leger
University of Massachusetts: John Griffi, Kyle Havens, Mike Mele, Juan Anthony Nelson, Greg Niland
Union College: Elisee Pompilus
Vanderbilt University: David Giller
Worcester State: Tyler Russell

The following coaches and scouts were listed as being in attendance at Boston College pro day:

Atlanta Falcons: Regional scout Marvin Allen
Baltimore Ravens: Scout Andy Weidle
Cleveland Browns: Scout Pat Roberts
Green Bay Packers: College scout Lee Gissendaner
Houston Texans: Coordinator/college scouting Mike Macagnan
Indianapolis Colts: Associate director of player personnel Kevin Rogers, Jr.
Jacksonville Jaguars: Regional scout Brian Simmons
Kansas City Chiefs: Director of college scouting Phil Emery
New Orleans Saints: National scout Brian Adams
New York Giants: Offensive line coach Pat Flaherty and scout Chris Pettit
New York Jets: Regional scout Brendan Prophett
Oakland Raiders: Scout William Thomas
New England Patriots: Offensive line coach Dante Scarnecchia, director of college scouting Jon Robinson, assistant director of college scouting Brian Smith
Philadelphia Eagles: Scout Ahmad Russell
San Francisco 49ers: Regional scout Todd Brunner
Seattle Seahawks: Regional scout Charlie Jackson
Tampa Bay Bucs: College personnel assistant Jared Kirksey

Read More: 2011 NFL Draft,
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