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NFL Draft’s Potential Patriots: Texas A&M DE Damontre Moore

03.30.13 at 8:36 am ET
By   |   Comments will continue to offer daily insight and analysis regarding options that might be available to the Patriots when it comes to the 2013 NFL draft. Here is one of a series of profiles of players who could be on the board when it’s time for the Patriots to make a selection.


Position: Defensive end

School: Texas A&M

Height: 6-foot-4

Weight: 250 pounds

Achievements: 2012 All-SEC first team (coaches), 2010 All-Big 12 Freshman team (, 2010 National Defensive Performer of the Week (College Football Performance Awards)

What he brings: Many draft scouts have been impressed by Moore’s quick first step and his ability to use his strong, long arms to get through blocks. He has also displayed good flexibility and a good spin move to get past the offensive line. CBSSports’ Rob Rang has noted Moore’s strong tackling, ability to force fumbles and awareness. He has been compared to John Abraham. He also has shown the strong ability to change direction in his pursuit of the quarterback.

Where the Patriots could get him: Round 1

Notes: Moore began his career with the Aggies as a linebacker before moving to defensive end in 2012. He had a career-high 17 tackles in a 2012 win over Louisiana Tech. In his sophomore season in 2011, Moore led the Aggies in tackles for losses (17.5/70). He had 40 tackles, 5.5 sacks, one interception and three forced fumbles while serving as Von Miller‘s backup in 2010.

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Video: Here’s a package of Moore highlights from 2012.

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Danny Amendola: Work with Tom Brady will start next week

03.29.13 at 11:57 pm ET
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One of the reasons Tom Brady and Wes Welker were able to build the sort of bond that led to Welker’s dominance over the last six years was the fact they spent a ton of time together in the offseason — outside of the offseason workout programs — working together on the quarterback-receiver relationship. The two spent plenty of time engaged in offseason throwing sessions in Southern California, working together to help understand exactly what the other one needed.

And so when the Patriots fundamentally swapped Welker for Danny Amendola earlier this month, the first job for Amendola was to make sure he join Brady for some of those offseason sessions. (Sessions that will also apparently include tight end Aaron Herandez.) And this week, Amendola said he’s already reached out to Brady to try and set up a time to get together.

‘€œI’€™ve talked with Tom a couple times — just trying to get some scheduling down [figuring out when] we want to get together and throw here — starting probably next week — and go from there,’€ Amendola told 101ESPN St. Louis on Monday.  ‘€œI’€™m ready to get working with him.”

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What does Tyrann Mathieu’s visit with the Patriots really mean?

03.29.13 at 9:20 pm ET
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The news that Tyrann Mathieu will have a pre-draft visit with the Patriots on April 5 is certainly interesting. While those visits can be for a number of reasons — a smokescreen to fool other teams, a real indication of interest, or simply a chance to ask some questions that weren’€™t asked at the combine — it got us thinking about the possibility of The Artist Formerly Known As The Honey Badger joining the Patriots.

He certainly has an impressive resume: before he was booted from LSU for repeated violations of its drug policy, Mathieu won the Chuck Bednarik award in 2011 as the best defensive college player in the country and was a Heisman finalist. In all, the 5-foot-9, 176-pounder played two seasons for Louisiana State, and had 133 tackles (93 solo) and four picks in that stretch.

But beyond the name, what does he bring to the table? Like the questions about Marcus Lattimore and his visit with the Patriots, it sparks an interesting debate: Mathieu is a high-profile name and certainly an intriguing story, but when you offer a practical examination of the New England roster, it’s probably not a good fit. While he has displayed some positional versatility in college, Mathieu likely projects as a slot corner in the NFL, and the Patriots recently re-signed Kyle Arrington to fill that role for the foreseeable future. You could shuffle Mathieu around at different spots in the secondary — he might be able to work on the outside for a time and could conceivably be a serviceable backup, but it might be a stretch to consider him an every-down outside corner at this stage of his career.

However, he does offer special teams value — he averaged an impressive 17.2 yards per punt return in 2011, a year that included a pair of returns for touchdowns. While the Patriots signed Leon Washington earlier this month to help bolster an occasionally inconsistent return game, they could also re-sign Julian Edelman, who has experience as a punt returner as well.

In addition, Mathieu will likely be available sometime in the mid- to late-rounds, which could create s situation similar to what happened with Alfonzo Dennard last season. The Nebraska corner was considered an early- to mid-round selection before running into a legal snafu in the days before the draft — he was allegedly involved in a scuffle with a police officer — which was one of the reasons he dropped to the seventh round. In the end, the Patriots found a great addition in Dennard, who became a starting cornerback by the end of the season and had one of the best rookie year’€™s on the team.

With that in mind, you cannot talk about Mathieu without bringing up his history — he was kicked out of LSU last summer after failing his latest drug test, and told the media at the combine that he hasn’€™t smoked pot since Oct. 26. It’€™s certainly worth mentioning that the Patriots have taken their chances on wildly talented college players with character questions as recently as 2011, when they selected quarterback Ryan Mallett out of Arkansas in the third round.

Regardless, he presents several intriguing questions for the Patriots: Could he rebound to his 2011 form and become an impact player in the NFL? And could he manage to keep his demons in check at the professional level — something he addressed when he spoke with the media at the combine?

For his part, he believes the answers to those questions are yes and yes.

‘€œI know what it’€™s like to be humiliated,’€ Mathieu said at the combine last month. ‘€œTo go back down that road, not a chance in this world. Not a chance in my lifetime again.’€

The Patriots aiming to get some answers themselves when they get a chance to meet face-to-face next month.

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Report: Devin McCourty underwent shoulder surgery

03.29.13 at 6:29 pm ET
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According to, Patriots defensive back Devin McCourty underwent shoulder surgery this offseason but is expected to be ready for the start of the regular season. The report did not specify on which shoulder McCourty underwent the procedure, which was characterized as “routine.”

McCourty played in all 16 games for the Patriots, splitting his time between cornerback and safety. The 25-year-old recorded 82 tackles and five interceptions.

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Source: Tyrann ‘Honey Badger’ Mathieu will visit with Patriots

03.29.13 at 3:31 pm ET
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The Patriots will hold a pre-draft visit with former Louisiana State cornerback Tyrann Mathieu, according to a league source.

Mathieu, formerly known as “The Honey Badger,” won the Chuck Bednarik award in 2011 as the best defensive college player in the country and was a Heisman finalist. However, he was booted from LSU for repeated violations of its drug policy. In all, the 5-foot-9, 176-pounder played two seasons for Louisiana State, and had 133 tackles (93 solo) and four picks in that stretch.

He reportedly has several predraft visits lined up, including one with the Niners.

The news of the visit was first reported by the Boston Herald. For more Patriots news, check out

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NFL Draft’s Potential Patriots: Florida LB Jelani Jenkins

03.29.13 at 11:35 am ET
By   |   Comments will continue to offer daily insight and analysis regarding options that might be available to the Patriots when it comes to the 2013 NFL draft. Here is one of a series of profiles of players who could be on the board when it’s time for the Patriots to make a selection.


Position: Outside linebacker

School: Florida

Height: 6-foot-0

Weight: 243 pounds

Achievements: 2012 Butkus Award preseason watch list, 2012 Preseason All-SEC third team (coaches), 2010 SEC All-Freshman team

What he brings: writes about Jenkins’ good speed and ability to move from sideline to sideline. His speed and athleticism help him with tracking down and tackling the ball-carrier. Jenkins also showcases aggressiveness, getting past his defender on the line of scrimmage and making tackles for losses on running plays. Scouts have said what’s most impressive about him though, is his abilities in coverage situations. He has the talent to keep up with defending backs and tight ends.

Where the Patriots could get him: Round 4

Notes: Jenkins dealt with thumb, hamstring and foot issues in 2012 and missed three regular-season games plus the Sugar Bowl. He had foot surgery after the season. … In 36 career games at Florida, he recorded 182 tackles, 16.5 tackles for a loss, six sacks and three interceptions.

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Video: Here is a good look at Jenkins in action during the 2012 season.

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Marcus Lattimore is a great story, but would he fit in Foxboro?

03.29.13 at 1:24 am ET
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Marcus Lattimore is a walking, talking Disney film come to life.

The running back out of South Carolina suffered an absolutely devastating injury on Oct. 27, 2012 — he tore the anterior cruciate, lateral collateral and posterior cruciate ligaments in his right knee in an absolute gruesome scene. (Seriously — the video is bad.) The injury ended his season, and quite possibly, could have finished him as an NFL prospect, despite the fact that it ended a string where he rushed for 100-plus yards three times in eight previous games.

But the 6-foot, 218-pounder has spent the better part of the last five months working with famed orthopedic surgeon James Andrews, and at USC’s recent Pro Day, after going through a full series of drills, he received a round of applause from reps from the 31 teams in attendance.

And now, according to USA Today, there’s the news that the Patriots will meet with Lattimore — this on top of a report from the combine last month from the Boston Herald that Lattimore met with New England running backs coach Ivan Fears at the combine.

Would be fit with the Patriots? It’s an interesting debate.

With Stevan Ridley, Shane Vereen and Brandon Bolden currently on the roster — as well as the possibility of Jeff Demps making his regular-season debut in 2013, and the chance that Leon Washington could also be in line for some reps on offense — running back is not a big area of need, especially with the first three currently under contract for the next two seasons.

At the same time, several draft insiders, including Mike Mayock of the NFL Network, say that if it wasn’t for the 2012 injury, Lattimore would be the best running back on the board in this draft. And in the wake of what happened, Lattimore is currently considered someone who could be available in the middle to late rounds, and New England has almost always flipped conventional wisdom on its head when it comes to the draft. (To that point, in recent years, the Patriots have drafted multiple players at the same position, including Rob Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez in 2010 and Stevan Ridley and Shane Vereen in 2011.) New England has always welcomed high-character guys like Lattimore, and if they could find a way to stash him for a year while it figured out what to do with him, it could conceivably work.

When talking about Lattimore”s future, it’s important to note that Frank Gore of the Niners and Willis McGahee of the Broncos suffered similar knee injuries, but both bounced back after surgery in relatively short order to become top-level running backs. And then, there’s the case of Adrian Peterson, who tore an ACL at the end of the 2011 season, but came back in 2012 and got within nine yards of Eric Dickerson‘s rushing record. For his part — perhaps buoyed by those success stories — Lattimore said he wants to play football somewhere in 2013.

Ultimately, despite the interest shown by the Patriots, from a New England perspective, a marriage between Lattimore and the Patriots appears to be a long shot. Given the relative lack of picks New England has this season — a first-, second- and third-round selections, as well as two in the seventh round — and given the fact the Patriots have other areas of greater need, it would be something of a surprise to see him in Foxboro this fall.

But when it comes to Lattimore making it in the NFL, it’s a different story: after all, based on what he’s been able to accomplish to this point in his life, you’d have to be foolish to bet against him.

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