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Source confirms Oklahoma State RB Kendall Hunter has visit with Patriots

03.29.11 at 4:03 pm ET
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A league source confirmed the report that Oklahoma State running back Kendall Hunter had a visit with the Patriots in Foxboro on Tuesday.

Hunter is a 5-foot-7, 200-pounder who was a two-time consensus All-American, an academic All-Big 12 selection and a finalist for the 2010 Doak Walker Award given to America’s top running back as a senior. He finished his career with the Cowboys as the fourth-leading rusher in Oklahoma State history with 4,181 yards and is fourth in school history with 37 rushing touchdowns

Seen by many as someone who could be taken anywhere between the late first and early third round, his 40 times have ranked between 4.46 and 4.53. At the combine, he registered a 35 1/2 inch vertical leap, a 10-foot-2 broad jump. He also had 24 reps of 225 pounds on the bench and had a 6.74 3-cone drill.

His numbers have been impressive, but one of the things that have really stuck out for many about Hunter is his work in blitz pickup. It’s a trait the Patriots look for in their running backs, and even though he’s regarded as slightly undersized, several national analysts ‘€” including Mike Mayock of the NFL Network ‘€” have singled out Hunter for his work as a blocker.

“At Oklahoma State, that’€™s the number one thing we do besides ball carry ‘€” if you can’€™t block, you ain’€™t playing,” Hunter said. “Even though I didn’€™t end up blocking that much, but at practice, you be blocking all the time. You go against linebackers almost every other day.”

The news was first reported by the National Football Post.

Read More: 2011 NFL Draft, Doak Walker, Kendall Hunter, Mike Mayock

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,
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