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NFL Draft’s Potential Patriots: Virginia OT Oday Aboushi

03.26.13 at 12:15 pm 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 make a selection.


Position: Offensive tackle

School: Virginia

Height: 6-foot-6

Weight: 310 pounds

Achievements: 2012 All-ACC first team (AP, coaches), 2011 All-ACC second team

What he brings: Aboushi’s height and ability to drag his defender to the ground has been identified as one of his key attributes. Analysts also note that Aboushi has very good recovery speed and is able to cut off spin moves. He has experience at both left and right tackle, and he shows some quickness off of the snap. Scouts have pointed out his physicality and aggressiveness, as well as his ability to move his man downfield, enabling the running back to have open field.

Where the Patriots could get him: Round 3

Notes: Aboushi is one of 10 children. One of his brothers, Aymen, was a standout defensive lineman at Fordham in the early 2000s. Both of his parents were born in Palestine and speak Arabic occasionally. … He started all 37 games during his sophomore, junior and senior seasons.

Related articles: Oday Aboushi meets with Patriots

Cavalier Insider: Oday Aboushi ready to showcase talents at Combine

The Washington Post: Oday Aboushi looks to show his promise as NFL prospect

Video: Here’s a look at Aboushi in action vs. North Carolina in 2012.

Read More: 2013 NFL draft, 2013 Potential Patriots, Oday Aboushi,

NFL Draft’s Potential Patriots: Cal WR Keenan Allen

03.26.13 at 8:27 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 in a series of profiles of players who could be on the board when it’€™s time for the Patriots to make a selection.


Position: Wide receiver

School: California

Height: 6-foot-2

Weight: 206 pounds

Achievements: 2012 All-Pac-12 honorable mention, 2011 All-Pac-12 first team, 2010 All-Pac-10 second team (all-purpose player), Cal record-holder for career receptions (205)

What he brings: Allen might not be the perfect prospect, but for Patriots fans that have been clamoring for Bill Belichick to go after a true No. 1 wideout in the first round of the draft, he might be the best they’€™re going to get.

After not working out at the combine or at his pro day due to lingering knee and hamstring concerns, the former consensus best receiver in the 2013 draft has seen his stock fall back into the rest of the pack while the likes of Tavon Austin wow the scouts.

Allen’€™s proponents shouldn’€™t worry too much, though. The Cal product is big, is fast-ish, can go up the get the ball and has plenty of college tape to show that he looks good doing it, too. That last part is particularly impressive considering his college quarterback (and half-brother) Zach Maynard was mediocre at best last season. Throughout his career, Allen has shown an ability to work the field vertically and horizontally, showing a great downfield burst in addition to strong route-running skills and short-area quickness.

Prior to the 2012 season, when he only caught 61 balls for 737 yards, Allen tore up the Pac-12 as a sophomore, pulling in 98 receptions for 1,343 yards and six touchdowns. That standout 2011 season should be used as the more accurate barometer of where Allen stands as a receiver, since he’€™ll actually be playing with a professional-level quarterback once he gets drafted. Unless he goes to the Jets, that is.

Current player comparisons for Allen include Packers receiver Jordy Nelson and Cowboys head case Dez Bryant, for his above-average power at the receiver position while still maintaining solid downfield speed. Allen shows great body control, athleticism and toughness when he goes after the ball and is dangerous after the catch, with the athleticism to get moving in the open field as well as the strength to bust through defenders in the secondary.

Where the Patriots could get him: Round 1

Notes: The one glaring red flag with Allen is the fact that no one’€™s seen him play football or work out at full capacity since an October knee injury ended his final season at Cal early. At his pro day on March 14, Allen still was unable to perform in the 40-yard dash or run route for scouts.

The Patriots, meanwhile, have been known to go after ‘€œdamaged goods’€ when it comes to players with injury concerns, with results ranging from frustrating misses (Ras-I Dowling) to home runs (Rob Gronkowski). Even with the risk, the Pats likely would jump at the chance to grab what may be the best receiver in the draft class this late into the first round.

Until he runs an official 40 time during his workouts, Allen’€™s straight-line speed will remain a ‘€œquestion mark’€ or ‘€œconcern’€ for many outlets, but likely won’€™t be a issue for scouts. Unless one of the premiere deep threats in college football ends up running something northward of a 4.70 in the 40-yard dash, teams will have a decent enough knowledge of what caliber of player they are working out: a talented one.

Related articles: The Daily Californian: Keenan Allen: No Reservations

San Jose Mercury News: Zach Maynard and Keenan Allen a pass-catch tandem that’s all about brotherly love Cal WR Keenan is thinking big – Heisman Trophy big

Video: Here’€™s a compilation of highlights from Allen’€™s performances in 2012 against Ohio State and USC.

Read More: 2013 NFL draft, 2013 Potential Patriots, Dez Bryant, Jordy Nelson

Four more free agent defensive end possibilities for Patriots

03.25.13 at 9:22 pm ET
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With Elvis Dumervil signing with the Ravens, the market for available pass rushing defensive linemen continues to shrink. Here are four names who are still available as we head into the third full week of free agency:

Dwight Freeney: As of Monday evening, several insiders were linking Freeney to the Broncos for several reasons, not the least of which was his old teammate Peyton Manning was apparently assisting with the sales pitch to the former Colts defensive end. The Connecticut native has managed to maintain a high level of production over the last few seasons — in all, over the course of his 11-year career, the 33-year-old racked up 107.5 sacks, including 13.5 the last two seasons with Indy.

John Abraham: Both Abraham and Freeney have been linked to the Patriots on several occasions, and now, with Dumervil officially off the market, you have to figure their value has increased. With the talk Monday night that linked Freeney to the Broncos, the Patriots could have an opportunity to move on Abraham. The 34-year-old, who recently was cut loose by the Falcons after seven seasons in Atlanta, has spent a total of 13 seasons in the league, and the 6-foot-4, 263-pounder has at least 9.5 sacks in each of his last three seasons and 122 sacks over the course of his career.

Osi Umenyiora: The consensus around the league is not if Umenyiora signs with the Falcons, but when. Atlanta GM Thomas Dimitroff confirmed Monday the Falcons are in talks with the 31-year-old, who was released this past offseason by the Giants. The 6-foot-3, 255-pound defensive lineman has registered at least 13 sacks in three of the last seven seasons, and while he’s not at Dumervil’s level, if utilized properly, could still manage to be a good replacement for a Falcons team that’s looking to replace Abraham.

Israel Idonije: The 32-year-old defensive lineman has been in the league for nine seasons, and the 6-foot-7, 290-pounder has developed a pretty good rep as a situational pass rusher — he has 20.5 sacks over the last three seasons, including 7.5 last year, where he was used sparingly by the Bears. (According to PFF, he didn’t go wire-to-wire in a single game in 2012, but still managed to land a +10.7 grade as a pass rusher last season.) He’s played both defensive end and defensive tackle, and could come relatively cheaply.

(One more name to keep an eye on is Vaughn Martin. While he’s more of a run-stuffer than a pass-rusher, there was a report from Jason LaCanfora of CBS Sports last week that linked the Patriots with Martin, which leads us to include him here. Martin, who landed in San Diego by way of the CFL, doesn’t have the most impressive stat line over the course of his first four seasons in the league, but has carved out a rep as an active defensive tackle who can occupy multiple blockers. A fourth-rounder in 2009, he’s appeared in 48 games with San Diego, and has 78 tackles and three sacks in his career. He had 19 tackles and one sack in 12 games last year.)

Read More: dwight freeney, Elvis Dumervil, Israel Idonije, John Abraham

Report: Sebastian Vollmer’s deal could max out at four years, $27 million

03.25.13 at 5:41 pm ET
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The Patriots and right tackle Sebastian Vollmer have agreed to terms, with Pro Football Talk reporting that the four-year contract has $8.25 million in guarantees for the big German, with a base value of $17 million through 2016.

There will also reportedly be $9 million in playing-time incentives and bonuses, with a $1 million bonus for making the Pro Bowl. All told, Mike Garofalo of USA Today is reporting that the deal maxes out at a potential $27 million.

The deal is a good one for both sides: Vollmer nets a nice payday fairly commensurate with his overall value to the Patriots, as well as his status as one of the best tackles in the league (especially when measured against some of the other deals that top-level tackles have received this offseason). Meanwhile, New England has apparently guarded itself against Vollmer’s occasionally spotty injury history with some playing time incentives that could pay off in the long run for the former second-round pick out of Houston.

Read More: Sebastian Vollmer,

NFL regular-season schedule will be released April 16

03.25.13 at 4:50 pm ET
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It appears the NFL’s 2013 regular-season schedule will be released on April 16, as the NFL Network has apparently scheduled the release show for that evening at 8 p.m. While the list of opponents for each team has been finalized, the dates and times have yet to be announced.

Here’s a look at who the Patriots will face in 2013:

Home: Buffalo, Miami, N.Y. Jets, Cleveland, Pittsburgh, New Orleans, Tampa Bay, Denver.

Away: Buffalo, Miami, N.Y. Jets, Baltimore, Cincinnati, Atlanta, Carolina, Houston.

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NFL Draft’s Potential Patriots: Purdue DT Kawann Short

03.25.13 at 12:26 pm 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 is 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 tackle

School: Purdue

Height: 6-foot-3

Weight: 299 pounds

Achievements: 2012 All-Big Ten first team (media, coaches), 2011 All-Big Ten first team (media), 2011 All-Big Ten second team (coaches), 2010 All-Big Ten second team (media)

What he brings: Short is versatile — he played every position on the interior line for the Boilermakers — and when he positions himself well, his considerable size and strength make him difficult to move or get past. He considered leaving Purdue last year for the draft, but he received a third-round grade and decided to return for his senior season. By many accounts, that extra year helped him become a more consistent player, but many scouts still think he could improve his work ethic and reliability further. notes his impressive upper-body strength and his strong hands, while noting that his closing speed isn’t great outside the trenches. His conditioning and weight are concerns, but Short arrived at the scouting combine weighing 299 pounds, a weight he said he hadn’t hit “since middle school.”

Where the Patriots could get him: Round 1 or 2

Notes: Since starting all 12 games for Purdue as a redshirt freshman, Short has improved steadily in his time as a Boilermaker. He’s projected to go relatively early in the draft, in the first 50 or 60 picks, and most see him as a potential starter in 4-3 or 3-4 systems at the NFL level. He recently suffered a hamstring injury that kept him from working out at the scouting combine and instead was scheduled to hold a personal workout for teams at Purdue on March 25.

Related articles: Fort Wayne News-Sentinel: A lighter Kawann Short boosts NFL prospects

Post-Tribune of Northwest Indiana: Kawann Short returns to Purdue with goal of becoming a top-five NFL draft pick

Tulsa World: Purdue’s Kawann Short is full of surprises

Video: Here’s a look at Short in action vs. Iowa in 2012.

Read More: 2013 NFL draft, 2013 Potential Patriots, Kawann Short,

NFL Draft’s Potential Patriots: Florida State DT Everett Dawkins

03.25.13 at 9:44 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 is 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 tackle

School: Florida State

Height: 6-foot-2

Weight: 292 pounds

Achievements: 2012 All-ACC second team (media, coaches), 2011 All-ACC honorable mention

What he brings: Dawkins was part of a strong Florida State defensive line, a quick-footed player with quicker hands. He’s described as agile and someone who hustles hard on the pass rush, adapting well if he doesn’t read the play well initially. He bulked up during his time at Florida State, including putting on a reported 25 pounds of muscle in the 2011 offseason, but his smaller size for a DT still is a concern for some scouts, as it makes it harder for him to move bigger linemen once they are anchored. notes that he also has issues with his pad level that can prevent him from getting under opponents and anchoring himself well.

Where the Patriots could get him: Round 5

Notes: Dawkins graduated from Florida State in 2011 and now is working on a second degree in criminology. He didn’t record particularly impressive numbers in college (4.5 tackles for a loss, 2.5 sacks in the last two years), but that was due in part to Florida State’s defensive line rotation. If his technical issues, like that of his pad level, can be fixed by coaches at the next level, he could become an NFL starter.

Related articles: The Spartanburg Herald-Journal: Former Byrnes star a 303-pound defensive tackle for Florida state

The Orlando Sentinel: Everett Dawkins becoming leader on FSU’s D-line

ESPN: Somebody has to do it

Video: Here’s a look at Dawkins in action vs. South Florida in 2012.

Read More: 2013 NFL draft, 2013 Potential Patriots, Everett Dawkins,
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