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Harvard safety Collin Zych says he hasn’t visited with the Patriots

04.05.11 at 1:23 pm ET
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Harvard safety Collin Zych is drawing attention from the National Football League, but contrary to a recent report, he says he has not had a pre-draft visit with the Patriots. Zych, who worked out recently at BC Pro Day ‘€” an event where the Patriots had four people in attendance ‘€” did confirm that he had upcoming visits lined up with the Cowboys and Jaguars, but nothing scheduled with New England.

The 5-foot-11, 185-pound Zych, a native of Plano, Texas, was a team captain with the Crimson last season, and finished tied for the team lead with 79 tackles, cementing his All-Ivy status. One of the most impressive things about his game are his ball skills ‘€” he had 26 pass deflections in his last two seasons at Harvard. In all, he finished his collegiate career with 224 tackles and six interceptions.

Read More: 2011 NFL Draft, Collin Zych,

Report: Former Patriots linebacker Mike Vrabel arrested for theft

04.04.11 at 3:39 pm ET
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Former Patriots linebacker Mike Vrabel was arrested for theft at the Belterra Casino in Florence, Indiana on Monday morning, according to Pro Football Talk.

Vrabel, who was dealt from New England to Kansas City before the start of the 2009 season, was reportedly booked at 5:28 a.m. on Monday for what, under Indiana law, is a Class D felony. PFT reports that Vrabel was released at 10:39 a.m. Monday after posting a $600 bond.

UPDATE: 4:13 p.m.: Vrabel issued a statement through his agent Neil Cornrich, which was just posted on Pro Football Talk: Said Vrabel: ‘€œIt was an unfortunate misunderstanding, and I take full responsibility for the miscommunication.  I feel comfortable that after talking with the appropriate parties, we will resolve this matter.’€

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The Big Board: Updated list of Patriots’ private workouts and pre-draft visits

04.04.11 at 12:22 am ET
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With the draft now less than a month away, the pre-draft process has shifted from private workouts to on-site visits. Each team is allowed to host up to 30 prospects on official visits as part of the pre-draft process, and we already have a list of official visits to Foxboro we have been able to confirm. (It’€™s important to remember that these visits are usually done to accomplish one of two things. First, it’€™s a way to go in-depth with a potential draft pick, a way to gauge whether or not that prospect would fit your system. Second, there’€™s 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.)

This is by no means a complete list ‘€” simply a rundown of those we have independently verified:

Miami defensive lineman Allen Bailey
Oklahoma State running back Kendall Hunter
North Carolina defensive tackle Marvin Austin

In addition, it’€™s been reported by multiple outlets the following players will have or have already had official visits with the Patriots:

Nebraska cornerback Prince Amukamara (NFL Network)
Colorado left tackle Nate Solder (National Football Post)
USC offensive tackle Tyron Smith (National Football Post)

Here’€™s our 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. An as is the case with the on-site visit, there’€™s also the chance that a well-publicized workout could be an attempts to get another team interested in a prospect simply because the Patriots have feigned interest.

As is the case with the on-site visits, this is by no means a complete list ‘€” simply a rundown of those we have independently verified:
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Read More: 2011 NFL Draft, Mock Draft, take 7: Three new Pats picks

04.03.11 at 11:45 pm ET
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Lots and lots of shakeups in the latest edition of the mock draft, and though this one has Marcell Dareus going first overall, I’€™m still not accepting it as a sure thing like everyone else. As a result of J.J. Watt and Aldon Smith both being projected to go in the first 10 picks, all three Patriots picks are different this week.

1. Carolina (2-14) Marcell Dareus, DL, Alabama

Happy now? I have no problem with Dareus being the first overall pick. In fact, I thought it was laughable earlier in the process when some didn’€™t have him in the Top 10, but I’€™m still not sold on him definitely being the first player drafted. That’€™s what happens when the draft’€™s best player is a cornerback, though. As for Robert Quinn being in this spot last week (something I still feel the Panthers should consider), don’€™t rule it out just because you haven’€™t heard a million people say it yet. Remember, nobody had Philip Rivers as a Top 5 pick in 2004 or Mario Williams as the top pick in 2006.
2. Denver (4-12) Patrick Peterson, CB, LSU

As was mentioned in the previous blurb, Peterson is the best player in this draft, and even impressive pro days from the other top prospects could not change that. Do the Broncos have bigger needs? Yes, but corner is big enough a need to make passing on Peterson’€™s talent a foolish idea.

3. Buffalo (4-12) Von Miller, OLB, Texas A&M

A player involved in the lawsuit is showing that he doesn’€™t hate the NFL by agreeing to attend the NFL Draft? Why is this a story again? Miller’€™s a bright kid with elite talent, so anything he does that displays dominance on the field or maturity off it shouldn’€™t be a surprise. Miller not going in the top five picks, however, would be a surprise.

4. Cincinnati (4-12) Blaine Gabbert, QB, Missouri

Gabbert is not likely to end up being one of the best quarterbacks in the league, so is he really worth the fourth overall pick? When a team’€™s incumbent wants nothing to do with the organization anymore, he might be. If the Bengals are forced to find a replacement for Carson Palmer, Gabbert is the only logical option this high.

5. Arizona (5-11) Robert Quinn, DE/OLB, North Carolina

Whether it’€™s first overall, fifth overall or as Mr. Irrelevant, Quinn is going to be worth it for whichever team drafts him. He didn’€™t play a down last year due to an NCAA suspension, but neither his character nor his talents as a pass-rusher are in question.

6. Cleveland (5-11) Da’€™Quan Bowers, DE, Clemson

There was a time when it seemed Bowers could be the first overall pick, but that time ended after his knee kept him from participating in the combine. His bad pro day performance was seemingly a result of him trying to prove he was healthy when he wasn’€™t, and now he’€™ll be lucky if he doesn’€™t fall even farther than No. 6.

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Read More: 2011 NFL Draft, Brandon Harris, Brooks Reed, Cam Newton

Tom Brady spotted hanging out with the UCLA softball team

04.03.11 at 9:29 am ET
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Days after he was spotted throwing in Southern California without his walking boot, Patriots quarterback Tom Brady was seen again on Saturday taking in a UCLA softball game ‘€” and again it looks like there was no boot on the right foot that underwent surgery this offseason. Brady was at the game with his niece, and watched the Bruins take a 9-1 decision over Oregon State to improve to 25-2 on the season. Larry Brown Sports has a couple of pictures of Brady at the game here. In addition, someone took video of Brady and his niece hanging with the team afterward. We couldn’t see a boot on the right foot, but judge for yourself ‘€” check it out below:

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Read More: Tom Brady,

Source confirms UNC DT Marvin Austin visits with Patriots in Foxboro

04.02.11 at 6:08 pm ET
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A league source had confirmed a report from Vaughn McClure of the Chicago Tribune that the Patriots had North Carolina defensive lineman Marvin Austin in for an official pre-draft visit on Friday. Austin is a 6-foot-2, 309-pounder who was suspended for the entire 2010 season for what the NCAA called ‘€œviolations of NCAA agent benefits, preferential treatment and ethical conduct rules,’€ specifically two trips to California and two trips to Miami.

Each team is allowed up to 30 players for pre-draft visits, and we have been able to confirm three of them for the Patriots ‘€” Austin, Miami defensive lineman Allen Bailey and Oklahoma State running back Kendall Hunter.

Despite the off-the-field problems, Austin is considered by many to be a second-round pick. In 2009, he played in all 13 games making 11 starts and finishing with 42 tackles, 6.0 tackles for losses and four sacks. He certainly impressed at the combine, where he ran an unofficial 4.9-second 40-yard dash and bench-pressed 225 pounds 38 times, the second most by anyone regardless of position.

Speaking at the combine, he said the year away from football was one of toughest of his life.

‘€œIt’€™s still hard to watch some of the stuff that’€™s said about my character,’€ Austin said. ‘€œI’€™ve never taken a drink in my life, I’€™ve never smoked in my life. I’€™ve done everything to get to this point but one mistake, taking a couple of trips — and one of them was taken to help me get better as an athlete — has cost me my whole senior season and my image.

‘€œIt was a mental mistake. I got ahead of myself. I learned that I can never take anything for granted. This is a privilege. To be here is a privilege. A lot of guys would kill to be in the shoes of all of the 300 guys here and so you have to take advantage of it and never abuse the privilege. I went from being one of the top players and prospects in the nation to being a guy that is not even talked about. And it was a tough situation having to sit back and watch all the other defensive linemen go out and play and perform and not be able to do anything. It made you put things in perspective a lot more.’€

Here’€™s some video of Austin in action:

Read More: 2011 NFL Draft, allen bailey, Kendall Hunter, Marvin Austin

Tom Brady seen working out in California without walking boot

04.01.11 at 4:00 pm ET
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So it appears Patriots quarterback Tom Brady has returned from Brazil.

As is usually the case at this time of year, Brady took to a field in California. This time, it was in Los Angeles, and the paparazzi snapped some shots of Brady working out in Southern California on Thursday with his trainer and some friends. He certainly looks better than he did last month when he was dancing his way through Carnival ‘€” while wearing a walking boot for part of the time, the result of offseason foot surgery.

For more shots of Brady working out, click here.

Read More: Tom Brady,
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