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NFL Draft Potential Patriots: USC DE Nick Perry

03.31.12 at 12:08 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 2012 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.

NICK PERRY

Position: Defensive end

School: USC

Height: 6-foot-3

Weight: 250 pounds

Achievements: All-Pac 12 first team (2011)

What he brings: Perry is an agile pass rusher who impressed in the Pac-12 with a league-leading 9.5 sacks in the 2011 season. His is a player who is aggressive on every snap and has a no-quit mentality, an attitude sure to please Bill Belichick. Perry also has the potential to be converted from a 4-3 defensive end to a 3-4 linebacker, but his inexperience at that position means he may need some time to adjust before becoming an effective player. Perry does not have the size expected out of his position, but he makes up for that with his quick step and ability to read and react swiftly to shifting players and changing plays.

Where the Patriots could get him: Round 1

Notes: Perry can be inconsistent at times, looking like a sure first-rounder in some games and a second- or third-rounder in others. For example, Perry had 10 tackles and a sack in an Oct. 1 win over Arizona but just two assists and no sacks in a Sept. 17 win over Syracuse. In addition to leading the league in sacks, Perry led the team in forced fumbles (3) and recorded one fumble recovery. He finished fifth on the Trojans with 54 tackles in the 2011 season.

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Video: Here’s Perry against Washington.

Read More: 2012 NFL Draft, 2012 Potential Patriots, Nick Perry,

The latest ‘It Is What It Is’ Podcast breaks down the Patriots offseason

03.30.12 at 1:01 pm ET
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In the latest edition of the It Is What It Is podcast, WEEI.com’s Christopher Price and Jerry Thornton break down New England’s activity this offseason, including what the acquisition of Brandon Lloyd means for the Patriots’ passing game and where New England stands on both sides of the ball. They also give their take on the busy NFL offseason, including Peyton Manning to the Broncos, Tim Tebow to the Jets and what’s going to happen to the Saints because of the recent bounty scandal. Click HERE to listen.

Read More: Brandon Lloyd, Christopher Price, Jerry Thornton, Peyton Manning

NFL Draft’s Potential Patriots: Montana CB Trumaine Johnson

03.30.12 at 8:53 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 2012 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.

TRUMAINE JOHNSON

Position: Cornerback

School: Montana

Height: 6-foot-2

Weight: 205 pounds

Achievements: AFCA FCS All-America (2010, 2011), AP first-team All-America (2010, 2011), Walter Camp Football Foundation FCS All-America (2010, 2011).

What he brings: Johnson has good size for a cornerback and has a reputation as a playmaker with good speed. He has shown strength in preventing yards after the catch and stopping the run. He would be a good player to develop in the Patriots’ shallow secondary, but he needs work when it comes to reacting better and faster in zone coverage, as scouts agree that Johnson struggles to change directions fast enough to break up passes or catch up to his man. Johnson can be a multidimensional player, as he returned kickoffs in 2010.

Where the Patriots could get him: Rounds 1-2

Notes: Johnson finished the 2011 season tied for third on the team in solo tackles (35) and sixth in total tackles (54). He registered two interceptions in his senior season to finish his collegiate career with 15 interceptions.

Johnson has a track record of discipline problems, as he missed nine games in 2008-09 in part due to a suspension related to an alleged fight outside a fraternity house. In October 2011, Johnson was tased and arrested after allegedly attempting to resist arrest at a party. He was charged with obstructing a peace officer, disorderly conduct and resisting arrest. He pleaded no contest to those charges as part of a plea deal.

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Video: Here’s Johnson against Central Arkansas on Dec. 3.

Read More: 2012 NFL Draft, 2012 Potential Patriots, Trumaine Johnson,

Gronk talks about the injury, the Super Bowl and the offseason changes in the AFC

03.29.12 at 8:50 pm ET
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Rob Gronkowski has made the rounds the last few days — everything from the ESPN ‘€œcar wash’€ to slinging donuts down in Foxboro — and on Thursday night, he and his brothers stopped for some quality time at the NFL Network. The Patriots tight end sat down with Andrew Siciliano to talk about his injury, the Super Bowl and some of the offseason changes in the AFC East. Thanks to our pals at the NFL Network for some of the highlights (To check out video of the two interviews, click here and here.):

On if he agrees with the argument that Super Bowl XLIV would have been different if he had been healthy: ‘€œNot necessarily. I was out there, I was giving everything I had and when you’€™re out there playing in the game, you’€™re accountable for your teammates, you’€™re accountable for your play. I was just out there giving 100 percent, everything I had and no excuses. That was the situation that happened. If I was healthy, it could have maybe gone a different way. If I was healthy, it could have gone a positive way, so you just never know that the outcome is. That was the situation; there is not even any point in thinking of what might have happened because that was the situation and there is no changing it from here on out.’€

On if he agrees with the argument that if he had been healthy then he would have been able to get to the Hail Mary at the end of the game: ‘€œWell, then you could also say if I was healthy we could have maybe been up then. If it would have been a whole different outcome throughout the whole game, [maybe] there would have been no Hail Mary. It’€™s just crazy situations. There are no excuses; the Giants are a great team and they have a great players. Just unfortunately that was the situation; that’€™s what you have to deal with, that’€™s what you have to play with. From here on out just trying to get healthy now to make sure I’€™m 100 percent coming into next season.’€

On if it is fair to say that he was a decoy in Super Bowl XLIV: ‘€œNot necessarily. We were out there playing our game; you heard it because I think the one Giants defender said it over the microphone. I wouldn’€™t say so. I was out there playing the whole game, out there doing everything I could and running all of the routes. Unfortunately we just didn’€™t come up with the win. We have to move onto next year, get healthy so next year we can keep on building and keep on getting better.’€

On Tim Tebow joining the Jets: ‘€œIt’€™s just bringing a lot of media to our division. He brings a lot of media to the house of the Jets, too. It’€™s crazy. We might be the most talked about division now; we have Mario Williams with the Bills, Tebow with the Jets ‘€“ all of these big-name players are coming into our division. It’€™s just going to make it a lot of fun this year.’€
Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: Andrew Siciliano, Rob Gronkowski,

Check out Wes Welker’s latest commercial for … well, just check it out

03.29.12 at 4:50 pm ET
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Patriots receiver Wes Welker‘s latest commercial is out. He doesn’t have the same sort of juice on Madison Avenue that Tom Brady has, but … well, I’ll just leave this here and let you guys figure it out.

Read More: Tom Brady, Wes Welker,

NFL Draft’s Potential Patriots: Georgia CB Brandon Boykin

03.29.12 at 3:31 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 2012 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.

BRANDON BOYKIN

Position: Cornerback

School: Georgia

Height: 5-foot-9

Weight: 182 pounds

Achievements: All-SEC second team by Phil Steele and SEC coaches, Paul Hornung Award

What he brings: Boykin is a quick cornerback with superior athletic ability. He has been lauded for having great reaction speed and a tremendous physique, and he brings value as a return man. Scouts have noted Boykin’s strong football character and professionalism.

Where the Patriots could get him: Rounds 2-4partly depending on his recovery from broken leg (see below)

Notes: In 14 games last season Boykin had 55 tackles, three interceptions and two forced fumbles. He also scored a rushing and receiving touchdown while playing offense. Boykin’s versatility doesn’t end there. He is Georgia’s all-time leader in kickoff return yards with 2,663. This total is second in SEC history, and he is the only player ever in the conference’s history with three 100-yard plays of any kind.

During a strong showing at the Senior Bowl, where many felt he improved his draft status, Boykin suffered a broken leg. He missed Georgia’s pro day on March 5 but scheduled an individual workout for April 9.

Video: Here is Boykin’s punt return for a touchdown in the Outback Bowl vs. Michigan State.

Read More: 2012 NFL Draft, 2012 Potential Patriots, brandon boykin,

NFL Draft’s Potential Patriots: Rutgers WR Mohamed Sanu

03.29.12 at 8:25 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 2012 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.

MOHAMED SANU

Position: Wide receiver

School: Rutgers

Height: 6-foot-2

Weight: 215 pounds

Achievements: Sports Illustrated All-America honorable mention (2011), Phil Steele fourth-team All-America (2011), All-Big East first team (2011), Maxwell Club Tri-State Player of the Year (2011), Homer Hazel Trophy Rutgers team MVP (2011)

What he brings: Sanu leaves Rutgers as one of the best wide receivers in both school and Big East history. He is a proven big-play threat, averaging 10.8 yards per reception over his career, and has a good mixture of size, strength, and open-field running skills. Sanu has reliable hands, and his long arms help him extend his catch radius beyond that of an average receiver. After the catch, Sanu is very capable of breaking through tackles and stiff-arming away from defenders. The only concerns about Sanu are his straight-line speed and the fact that he only has one season of exceptional production. If the Patriots decide to make a move away from Wes Welker, Sanu could be a good replacement.

Where the Patriots could get him: Round 1

Notes: Sanu recorded 100 or more receiving yards in seven games this past season. He set program and Big East records with his 115 catches in 2011, and is both the school and conference record-holder for career receptions (210). His 1,206 yards this past season marks the third-most productive total in program history, and his seven receiving touchdowns were a team best. Sanu also recorded the longest run in Rutgers history (91 yards). In high school, Sanu was deemed ineligible to play football as a senior because he turned 19 years old before the season began, but instead of leaving to play in prep school, he stayed to practice and help the coaches.

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Video: Here are some of Sanu’s top highlights.

Read More: 2012 NFL Draft, 2012 Potential Patriots, Mohamed Sanu,
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