|04.08.10 at 12:12 am ET|
If history counts for anything, Al Woods has to like his chances when it comes to possibly playing for the Patriots. Woods is a defensive lineman out of Louisiana State represented by Albert Elias who wears No. 97 — all characteristics that are shared by Jarvis Green, who just wrapped up an eight-year career with New England before signing a free agent deal with the Broncos.
The 23-year-old Woods, who reportedly had a private workouts with the Patriots and Denver recently (according to the National Football Post) is a 6-foot-4, 309-pounder who registered 33 tackles, 5 1/2 for losses and one sack last season. While Green was a defensive end and Woods is a defensive tackle, the addition of another big body out of LSU would help shore up New England’s defensive front.
|04.07.10 at 7:49 pm ET|
The NFL announced the dates for “organized team activities” for each team on Wednesday, and the Patriots are scheduled to use 12 of the 14 practice days that have been allotted to them by the league: May 24-27, June 1-4, June 7-8 and June 10-11.
Each of the practices are to be voluntary and non-contact, and 90 or fewer minutes in length. The practices closed to the public, but it’s the first chance for the media to see the 2010 team together in a football setting.
In addition, teams also are allowed two minicamps (three for those with new coaches). One of those is mandatory for rookies, and is usually a week or two after the draft, while the second is mandatory for the entire team, and is generally toward the end of the club’s offseason program. (Those dates should be announced soon.)
|04.07.10 at 7:37 pm ET|
Often, players can trigger incentives that increase their base salaries in futures years of their contracts through a series of clauses — playing time, overall performance, etc. And according to the latest NFLPA records, four Patriots have had their base salaries increase for the 2010 season because they’ve reached unspecified incentives.
Two rookies saw a boost — tackle Sebastian Vollmer went from $395,000 to $420,000, a bump of $25,000, while cornerback Darius Butler went from $395,000 to $545,000, an increase of $150,000. Two veterans also benefited greatly, as safety Brandon McGowan went from $730,000 to $1,330,000 and defensive lineman Mike Wright moved from $1,200,000 to $2,125,000.
H/T to Macs Football Blog, which has the complete list of NFL players with 2010 base salary increases here.
|04.07.10 at 6:14 pm ET|
Add Auburn linebacker/defensive end Antonio Coleman to the list of players who have worked out for the Patriots. Coleman, speaking with Buddy Andrade and Pat Schuster on the “Football Dialogue Radio Show” Tuesday night, said he recently took part in a pre-draft workout with New England.
Listed anywhere between 6-foot-1 and 6-foot-3, Coleman is a 260-pounder who was a defensive end in college but projects as an outside linebacker in the pros. In 2009, he recorded 15.5 tackles for loss and nine sacks en route to being named on the All-SEC First Team by both the media and the conference’s coaches (both for the second consecutive season).
Despite the big numbers, NFL Network draft analyst Mike Mayock says opinions vary on Coleman.
“Talented kid. Motor doesn’t always run at 100 percent. Can bring some pressure off the edge,” Mayock said prior to the combine. “He’s a guy, in my opinion, when you talk to people around the league, people are all over the board about this kid. … He’s a little bit of a tweener sizewise. 6-foot-1, 250 plus or minus. Is he a true defensive end? Can he stand up and play outside linebacker? Those are some of his issues.”
|04.07.10 at 12:20 am ET|
WEEI.com isn’t batting an eye when it comes to the 2010 NFL Draft. From interviews with experts to original mock drafts to weekly looks at potential Patriots, this is the place to be leading up to draft weekend, April 22-24.
Just when we thought we knew what every team was thinking, the Eagles and Redskins go and pull off a deal that could hurt the draft’s top prospect, help an offensive lineman and most shake up most draft boards like a used Etch-A-Sketch. Here’s the latest look at WEEI.com’s mock draft, including a previously unimaginable slip for Ndamukong Suh.
1. St. Louis (1-15) Sam Bradford, QB, Oklahoma Anyone who still doesn’t have Bradford going No. 1 overall needs to turn in their gun and pick value chart. The release of Marc Bulger only cements the fact that they have recognized as an organization that they are going to start anew at quarterback. Don’t let what GM Billy Devaney said on Tuesday fool you. Bradford should be the guy.
2. Detroit (2-14) Russell Okung, OT, Oklahoma State The trendy thinking following the McNabb trade is that the Redskins will take Okung with the fourth pick. My line of thinking is that there is no way the Lions should let the best tackle in a very impressive class slip through their fingers, regardless of the other talent that’s available to them this high.
3. Tampa Bay (3-13) Gerald McCoy, DT, Oklahoma This is a pick that has been consistent throughout nearly all of our mock drafts, and if I had to guess it might be the non-Bradford Top 10 pick I have the most confidence in at this point. The quarterback is generally the face of the franchise, but McCoy would have an immediate impact and give the team a character it has lacked.
4. Washington (4-12) Bryan Bulaga, OT, Iowa Bulaga is another guy who may end up winning big from the McNabb trade. The Redskins never gave Jason Campbell the line he deserved, but it’s a safe bet that Mike Shanahan will do it for McNabb. As surprising as passing on Ndamukong Suh would be, this pick wouldn’t be close to a reach.
5. Kansas City (4-12) Ndamukong Suh, DT, Nebraska There’s a good chance a trade would be made before it could come to this, but conventional thinking often trumps putting the best players as high as they can go. Suh would be an outrageous value with the fifth pick and would take the other end opposite Tyson Jackson. With his 6-foot-3 7/8 frame, Suh would be a rock at end and mercifully end Glenn Dorsey’s time in the 3-4. It wouldn’t be a major surprise to see Dorsey moved to a 4-3 team even if this pick doesn’t take place.
|04.06.10 at 5:44 pm ET|
Syracuse defensive tackle Arthur Jones will work out for the Patriots this week, according to multiple outlets.
A former state wrestling champ, Jones is a 6-foot-3, 301-pounder who was slowed by a knee injury at the end of the 2009 season (it caused him to miss the final three games of the year for the Orange and the Senior Bowl, as well as the combine in February), but still managed to land a spot on the All-BIG EAST First Team. In 2009, Jones recorded 19 tackles, including 12 solo and seven for a loss of yards. He also had 1.5 sacks and two fumble recoveries.
Jones played nose tackle the past two seasons — as a junior, he made 60 tackles, including 13 for loss and 3.5 sacks. In addition, he had 17 tackles for loss as a sophomore. During his collegiate career, Jones recorded 38.5 career tackles for loss, the most in SU history by an interior defensive lineman and third on the school’s all-time list.
|04.06.10 at 12:05 pm ET|
The Patriots are going to hold a private workout with Connecticut punter Desi Cullen Wednesday in Hartford, according to a league source.
Cullen, a 23-year-old out of Louisville, averaged 42.8 yards per punt this past season (good 28th in the country). A 6-foot, 201-pounder, he’s best described as a combo guy who can punt (he was a semifinalist for the Ray Guy Award), handle kickoff duties for the Huskies, as well as hold for field goals and kick some long field goals. (Here’s a quick look at some of his collegiate highlights.)
Cullen gained a measure of notoriety last season after he gave an emotional speech in the wake of the death of teammate Jasper Howard. (He led a prayer service the next evening at a candlelight memorial.) A popular player at UConn who gave himself the self-deprecating nickname “The Kentucky Hammer,” the Huskies coaching staff clearly thinks the world of Cullen — he was the first specialist named a team captain in UConn coach Randy Edsall’s 11-year tenure.
“Both my sons draw pictures of Desi at school — and not dad — so my family has really embraced him,” Connecticut’s special teams coordinator Lyndon Johnson told reporters last season. “He’s not just a player anymore for me. He is part of my family and he always will be.”
According to several draft experts, there are few punters worthy of draft consideration, but Cullen likely part of a group that includes Michigan’s Zoltan Mesko and East Carolina’s Matt Dodge, along with Fresno State’s Robert Malone and Virginia Tech’s Brent Bowden. (The Patriots have already contacted Mesko about a workout, according to scout.com.)
Cullen also has private workouts scheduled with the 49ers and Eagles this week.
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