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Report: Patriots work out Louisville CB Johnny Patrick

03.19.11 at 3:33 pm ET
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The Patriots held a private workout Saturday morning with Louisville cornerback Johnny Patrick, according to ESPN.com. There may be character concerns with Patrick, as he was charged with assault after allegedly throwing his girlfriend to the ground last year, but he is considered a second-to-mid-round pick in April’s draft.

Patrick had five interceptions as a senior and totaled nine over his four-year career at Lousville. He stands 5-foot-10 5/8 and weighed in at 181 pounds at the combine last month. He ran a 4.55 40-yard dash.

Read More: 2011 NFL Draft, Johnny Patrick,

Mizzou DB Kevin Rutland says he has a private workout with Patriots next week

03.18.11 at 7:24 pm ET
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Missouri defensive back Kevin Rutland has a private workout with the Patriots scheduled for next Wednesday.

Rutland, who told The Telegraph about the upcoming workout on Thursday, is a 6-foot, 190-pound defensive back who ran a 4.46 40 at Missouri’€™s Pro Day this past week under the watchful eye of several teams, including the Patriots.

Rutland was an All-Big 12 Honorable Mention as a senior, where he finished with a team-high three interceptions and four sacks. He started all 13 games in 2010 and finished the season with 44 tackles (34 solo), four tackles for loss and seven passes broken up. At the combine last month, Rutland posted a 4.58 in the 40, hit 12 reps of 225 pounds in the bench press and posted a 6.92 in the 3-cone drill.

On Thursday, Rutland said he was ‘€œa lot more comfortable’€ inside Missouri’€™s Devine Pavilion than he was the combine in Indy, and wasn’€™t in awe of some of the coaches like he was in Indianapolis because he had already met them.

‘€œI’€™ve been in this facility for five years, so I enjoyed this time,’€ Rutland told reporters. ‘€œBeing back home doesn’€™t bother you. It’€™s a lot easier.’€

NFL.com has a highlight video of his work last month at the combine ‘€” check it out here.

Read More: 2011 NFL Draft, Kevin Rutland,

Sources: Patriots expressing serious interest in USF DT Terrell McClain

03.18.11 at 2:42 pm ET
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Two league sources confirm the Patriots have expressed serious interest in defensive tackle Terrell McClain, a 6-foot-2, 297-pounder out of South Florida. McClain, who was first-team All-BIG EAST as a senior, started 24 games over his final two seasons as a collegian, and finished his college career with 7.5 sacks.

Known as a penetrating defensive tackle with some positional versatility, he had a great performance at the East-West Shrine Game in Orlando, where he was considered one of the game’€™s better defensive line prospects. (Some believe it was his performance at this game that led to a late invite to the Senior Bowl.) Considered a mid- to late-round selection, 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.’€

South Florida’s Pro Day is scheduled for March 24.

Read More: 2011 NFL Draft, Skip Holtz, Terrell McClain,

It Is What It Is: Focus on the NFL lockout with sports law expert Ron Washburn

03.18.11 at 1:42 pm ET
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On the latest edition of the It Is What It Is Cast, WEEI.com football writer Christopher Price welcomes Ron Washburn, a professor of legal studies at Bryant University who teaches a class in sports law to talk about the NFL lockout. Washburn explains how the two sides got to this point, the legal ramifications of what’s next, why the players decided to decertify and why the owners should be worried.

Read More: It Is What It Is Cast, lockout,

Drafting running backs remains an inexact science

03.17.11 at 9:42 pm ET
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Some positions in the NFL draft require more attention early on than others. For example, if your team is in need of a quarterback, history shows that while there can be risk in spending a Top 10 pick on a signal-caller, you’re far more likely to go wrong by choosing one in the second or third round.

While quarterback is a position best addressed in the first round (or, if you’re lucky, the 199th overall pick), not every position necessarily screams “high pick.” Of course, punters go untouched in the early part of the draft, but other positions — even the occasional kicker — have been fair game in the first two rounds over time. Still, for an event that is defined by finding value, trends over the years have shown that certain positions may not represent the utmost value high in the draft.

It could be argued that one such position is running back. Despite being a position that plays such a crucial role in the average NFL offense, running backs that get big attention on draft day don’t necessarily provide a big payoff for their teams. Here’s a look at every running back selected in the top two rounds of the last five drafts:

2010

16th overall — Ryan Mathews
30th overall — Jahvid Best

36th overall — Dexter McCluster
51st overall — Toby Gerhart
58th overall — Ben Tate

2009

12th overall — Knowshon Moreno
27th overall — Donald Brown
31st overall — Beanie Wells

53rd overall — LeSean McCoy

2008

4th overall — Darren McFadden
13th overall — Jonathan Stewart
22nd overall — Felix Jones
23rd overall — Rashard Mendenhall
24th overall — Chris Johnson

44th overall — Matt Forte
55th overall — Ray Rice

2007

7th overall — Adrian Peterson
12th overall — Marshawn Lynch

49th overall — Kenny Irons
50th overall — Chris Henry
52nd overall — Brian Leonard
63rd overall — Brandon Jackson

2006

2nd overall — Reggie Bush
21st overall — Laurence Maroney
27th overall — DeAngelo Williams
30th overall — Joseph Addai

45th overall — LenDale White
60th overall — Maurice Jones-Drew

Of those 28 players, eight finished Top 20 in the league in rushing yards last season. Of course, simply looking at last season doesn’t tell the whole story.

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Read More: 2011 NFL Draft, Adrian Peterson, Ahmad Bradshaw, Arian Foster

NFL commissioner Roger Goodell sends letter to players outlining league proposal

03.17.11 at 9:16 pm ET
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NFL commissioner Roger Goodell bypassed the players’€™ association and took his case right to the players on Thursday with a letter sent directly to players and agents outlining the league’€™s proposal to players last week. Some of the highlights include:

‘€¢Salary and benefits for the 2011 season would be set at $141 million per club, and projected cash spending would have been as high or higher than in either 2009 or 2010. By 2014, salary and benefits would have been set at $161 million per club. (Goodell points out that, ‘€œIn other words, player compensation would increase by as much as $20 million per club by 2014.’€ However, as Mac’€™s Football Blog points out, ‘€œRegarding the $141 million ‘€œsalary and benefit’€ figure, that is a reduction from 2009, which had a ‘€œsalary and benefit’€ cap number of $149.3 million.’€)

‘€¢Commit to retain the current 16-game regular season format for at least the next two seasons, and further commit not to change to an 18- game regular season without the union’€™s agreement.

‘€¢Free agency for players with four or more accrued seasons and reduced draft choice compensation for restricted free agents.

‘€¢Goodell detailed what he called ‘€œextensive changes in off-season work requirements that would promote player health and safety.’€ Among those changes would include reducing the off-season program by five weeks, OTAs would be reduced from 14, to helmets would be prohibited for the first five weeks of workouts, and rules prohibiting ‘€œlive’€ on-field contact would be strictly enforced. In addition, there would be changes in preseason and regular season practices and schedules that would reduce the number of padded practices, reduce the amount of contact, and increase the number of days off for players.

Below is the full letter, as obtained by WEEI.com:
Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: lockout, roger goodell,

Update on Patriots pre-draft workouts

03.17.11 at 4:20 pm ET
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Here’s a list of players who have had or will have private workouts or meetings with the Patriots. 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

Defense
Citadel defensive back Cortez Allen
Miami defensive lineman Allen Bailey
Northwestern defensive lineman Corbin Bryant

In addition, Patriots coaches and scouts have been confirmed as being in attendance at the following Pro Days: Florida, Miami, Michigan State, Alabama, Auburn, Cal, Fresno State, Kentucky, Nebraska, Wisconsin, Colorado, Arkansas, FIU and Oklahoma State.

Here’s a look at the Pro Day schedule for this week:
March 17: Appalachian State, Lehigh, Marshall, Michigan, Missouri, Slippery Rock, Stanford, Virginia, Virginia Tech, West Virginia.
March 18: Arkansas State, Missouri State, New Mexico State, Richmond, Temple.
March 21: Abilene Christian, Iowa.
March 22: Georgia, Iowa State, Mississippi, Nevada.
March 23: Arizona State, Boston College, Central Florida, Connecticut, East Carolina, North Carolina State, Syracuse, Tennessee-Chattanooga.
March 24: Boise State, Fort Hays State, San Diego State, South Florida.

Read More: 2011 NFL Draft, allen bailey, Andre Holmes, Andy Dalton
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