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NFL Draft’s Potential Patriots: Colorado OT David Bakhtiari

04.03.13 at 7:13 am ET
By   |   Comments will continue to offer daily insight and analysis regarding options that might be available for 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: Offensive tackle

School: Colorado

Height: 6-foot-4

Weight: 299 pounds

Achievements: 2012 All-Pac 12 second team (coaches), 2011 All-Pac 12 second team (coaches), 2011 sophomore All-America second team (, 2010 freshman All-America honorable mention (, 2010 All-Big 12 honorable mention (AP)

What he brings: Bakhtiari, expected by some to move to guard in the NFL, has been recognized for his good technique. notes his long arms and good overall weight distribution. Bakhtiari has very good initial quickness on the offensive line and takes good cuts and angles to help with defenders. Scouts have been impressed with his tenacity and aggressiveness with defenders, willing to knock them to the ground when he can.

Where the Patriots could get him: Round 2 or 3

Notes: Bakhtiari allowed only 2.5 quarterback sacks and one pressure in the 2012 season. In 2010, as a freshman, he played in all 12 games, starting 11. He registered 59 finishing/knockdown blocks, which was fourth best on the team. This included three touchdown blocks, which was tied for the third most. … The Bakhtiari family has a successful career in football. David’s oldest brother, Eric, is a linebacker who has played five NFL seasons, most recently for the 49ers in 2012. Another one of his older brothers, Andrew, played defensive end at the University of San Diego. His uncle, Dan Jackson, played quarterback at California.

Related Articles: Colorado’s David Bakhtiari ready for the NFL David Bakhtiari has no regrets Colorado lineman David Bakhtiari declares for NFL draft

Video: Here’s a look at Bakhtiari in action vs. USC in 2012.

Read More: 2013 NFL draft, 2013 Potential Patriots, David Bakhtiari,

Robert Kraft: Death of Chuck Fairbanks ‘a sad day for generations of Patriots fans’

04.02.13 at 6:05 pm ET
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Patriots owner Robert Kraft has issued a statement on he death of former coach Chuck Fairbanks.

‘€œAs a Patriots season ticket holder, I remember the excitement that was generated by the hiring of Chuck Fairbanks from the University of Oklahoma in 1973,’€ said Kraft in a statement issued by the team. ‘€œCoach Fairbanks gave the Patriots instant credibility. For Patriots fans of that era, Fairbanks was the Bill Parcells before Bill Parcells. Meaning, he did for the Patriots in the ‘€˜70s what Bill Parcells did for the team in the ‘€˜90s.

“He delivered the franchise’€™s first 11-win season in 1976 and earned a home playoff game after winning the division in 1978. It was the first time in franchise history that we hosted a playoff game. He introduced the 3-4 defense to the NFL during his Patriots tenure, which remains a part of his NFL legacy. It is a sad day for a generation of Patriots fans who enjoyed his era of coaching. My thoughts and prayers are with the Fairbanks family and all who mourn his loss.’€

Read More: Chuck Fairbanks, Robert Kraft,

Tom Brady, Danny Amendola work out together at USC

04.02.13 at 5:40 pm ET
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Danny Amendola talked about getting together with quarterback Tom Brady this week, and it appears that they have managed to connect. According to the USC Atheltics Twitter feed, the two were together working out at USC on Tuesday. Meanwhile, Tee Martin — a former member of the “Brady 6″ who is now the USC receivers coach — took it a step further and got photographic evidence from his office.

‘€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 last week.  ‘€œI’€™m ready to get working with him.’€

The offseason workouts in Southern California were an annual staple of the relationship between Brady and Wes Welker, as the two spent plenty of time together in hopes of building a bond. This year’s offseason sessions were also set to include tight end Aaron Hernandez, but it didn’t appear that Hernandez of Tuesday’s workout.

Read More: Danny Amendola, Tom Brady,

Former Patriots coach Chuck Fairbanks passes away

04.02.13 at 3:24 pm ET
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Former Patriots coach Chuck Fairbanks, who guided the team from 1973 to 1978, passed away Tuesday in Scottsdale, Ariz., after battling brain cancer. He was 79.

The sixth coach in franchise history, Fairbanks spent six seasons leading the Patriots, and finished with a 46-39 mark, as well as two trips to the postseason.

Through shrewd drafting and advanced thinking — Patriots coach Bill Belichick has acknowledged him as one of the pioneers of the game, particularly when it comes to the 3-4, two-gap style of defense as it’s played in the pro game today — Fairbanks helped establish the Patriots as one of best young teams in the game. He oversaw the drafting of several key players, including Steve Grogan, Mike Haynes, John Hannah, Sam Cunningham, Mosi Tatupu, Ray Hamilton and Darryl Stingley, and helped turn around the franchise, taking it from 3-11 in 1975 to 11-3 in 1976.

That 1976 team was one of the best in the game, and many believe it was robbed of a possible Super Bowl berth in a playoff game against the Raiders when a questionable roughing-the-passer call on  Hamilton kept a late Oakland drive alive, and eventually led to a Raiders touchdown.

His legacy in New England was a complicated one — he left in acrimonious fashion to take the head coaching job at Colorado, and later admitted to recruiting for the Buffaloes while he was still coaching in New England. But his influence on the game, as well as the Patriots franchise, cannot be overstated. In a press conference in 2007, Belichick said Fairbanks has a “tremendous influence” on the game, as well as how the Patriots operate.

“I think Chuck has had a tremendous influence on the league as well as this organization in terms of nomenclature and terminology and those kinds of things,” Belichick said. “I’m sure Chuck could walk in and look at our playbook and probably 80 percent of the plays are the same terminology that he used — whether it be formations or coverages or pass protections. We were sitting there talking yesterday and he was saying, ‘How much 60 protection are you guys using? How much 80 are you using?’ All of the stuff that was really the fundamentals of his system are still in place here.”

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NFL Draft’s Potential Patriots: Tennessee WR Cordarrelle Patterson

04.02.13 at 7:08 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: Tennessee

Height: 6-foot-2

Weight: 216 pounds

Achievements: 2012 All-SEC first team, 2012 All-America first team (all-purpose player), 2012 All-SEC second team (return specialist), school-record 1,858 all-purpose yards in 2012

What he brings: In a draft class without a true top-10 prospect at any of the skill positions, Patterson is easily the one with the highest ceiling and raw physical toolbox. In addition to his school record 1,858 all-purpose yards, near-prototypical frame and the fact that he was the first player since 2008 to score a touchdown four different ways (receiving, rushing, punt return, kick return), Patterson has shone brightly in workouts, running a solid 4.42 40-yard dash at the combine.

The bright side: Patterson is big, is fast and will burn defenders downfield. Once he’s down there, he has the athleticism and strength to fight for position and can make the tough catches. Patterson also presents great value in his ability to return punts and kicks and is be a fiend in the open field once he gets the ball in his hands.

The downside: The Tennessee product will dazzle fans and embody the deep threat they’€™ve been clamoring for. However, he is by no means a possession receiver yet and has a long way to go in many areas of his game. With only one season at the FBS level under his belt, Patterson is still raw in terms of his route-running, blocking and ability to beat physical coverage, especially from some of the more elite defensive backs he’€™ll face in the pros. He’€™s a long way away from being a go-to guy.

Is he a deep threat? Yes. Is he Randy Moss? Nope. Still, Patterson may emerge as the most productive receiver from this draft class. That is if he can get past the initial growing pains.

Where the Patriots could get him: Round 1, likely through a trade

Notes: We call a lot of players in a given draft raw. But, if Cordarrelle Patterson was steak, even the biggest fan of a bloody cut of meat would send him back to the chef for some more time over the grill.

The former No. 1 junior college prospect in the country spent just one season with the Volunteers before turning pro, a move that acts as both a testament to his physical skill set and a Surgeon General’€™s warning to avoid raw meat — so to speak. Still, many experts, including NFL Network’s Mike Mayock, have Patterson as the top receiver in the draft.

When he first arrived at Knoxville, Patterson was expected to sit at third on a stacked depth chart at wide receiver. Although, that was before Da’€™Rick Rogers was dismissed from the team. After working his way into the lineup, Patterson emerged as a star whose physical gifts helped him overcome his shortcomings in technique. Often, the Vols would line him up off the line of scrimmage so as to avoid exposing him to more physical coverage (something the Patriots would have no trouble doing in their spread concept).

With Justin Hunter lined up on the other side of the field and Tyler Bray at quarterback — both are projected to be high draft picks — Patterson had a great situation in Tennessee. While that success may translate well should he end up in an offense that’€™s looking to just add a deep threat, Patterson may struggle if he’€™s expected to be The Guy with a lesser offense (i.e. the Jets).

Related articles: Chattanooga Times Free Press: Cordarrelle Patterson arrives to lofty expectations

Knoxville News Sentinel: John Adams: Cordarrelle Patterson will leave highlights, regrets behind

Knoxville News Sentinel: Tennessee’s Cordarrelle Patterson says ‘instinct’ helps him makes plays

Video: Here’s a compilation of highlights from Patterson’s 2012 season.

Read More: 2013 NFL draft, 2013 Potential Patriots, Cordarrelle Patterson, Da'Rick Rogers

NFL Draft’s Potential Patriots: FIU safety Jonathan Cyprien

04.01.13 at 7:07 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: Safety

School: Florida International

Height: 6-foot-0

Weight: 217  pounds

Achievements: 2012 All-Sun Belt first team, 2011 All-Sun Belt second team, 2010 All-Sun Belt second team, 2009 All-Sun Belt honorable mention

What he brings: Cyprien is an active defender with a strong build who made an impression at the Senior Bowl, drawing more attention than he previously had at a small school. He’s fast enough to cover significant ground in the backfield and has drawn praise for his ball skills, as well as his ability to overpower opponents’ blocks. He can be overly aggressive with his tackles and sometimes hits ball-carriers high, which could pose a problem for him at the NFL level. Some scouts are also concerned about the way he reads plays and his ability to recover after being beaten or faked out. Doug Farrar of Yahoo! Sports suggests he would work well in a three-safety package for a team like the Giants because of his skill in defending the slot.

Where the Patriots could get him: Round 2

Notes: Cyprien’s biggest obstacle in the draft is likely his lack of name recognition, coming from FIU. He’s proven himself to be a hard-hitting, reliable safety, with considerable potential at the NFL level, but may slip in the draft behind players from bigger schools.

Related articles: Miami Herald: FIU’s Cyprien the only local player in Senior Bowl FIU’s Jonathan Cyprien has gained attention at Senior Bowl

Miami Herald: FIU’s Jonathan Cyprien wants his senior season to be a big hit

Video: Here’s a look at Cyprien in action vs. Louisville in 2012.

Read More: 2013 NFL draft, 2013 Potential Patriots, Jonathan Cyprien,

NFL Draft’s Potential Patriots: USC safety T.J. McDonald

03.31.13 at 8:46 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: Safety

School: USC

Height: 6-foot-2

Weight: 219 pounds

Achievements: 2012 All-Pac-12 second team, 2011 All-America first team (Sporting News, Pro Football Weekly), 2011 All-America second team (, 2011 All-Pac-12 first team, 2010 All-Pac-10 second team

What he brings: McDonald enjoyed success as an “in-the-box” safety at USC, and scouts like his build and his straight-line speed. He has good ball skills and competes well for balls in the air, due in part to his height. McDonald is versatile, having played various roles all over USC’s defense in 2012, and is known as an aggressive defender against the run. However, he may be hurt by the perception of him as a purely in-the-box safety, and some observers think he may struggle against NFL spread passing attacks (in fact, it happened from time to time against strong passing teams in the Pac-12).

Where the Patriots could get him: Round 3

Notes: Statistically, McDonald had his best season at USC in his senior year, with 112 tackles (6.5 for a loss), a sack and two interceptions. His father Tim was an all-American safety at USC in the mid-1980s and had a 13-year NFL career, winning a Super Bowl with the 49ers in 1994. … McDonald didn’t stand out much at the Senior Bowl, which could hurt his draft stock somewhat, but he’s projected to go in the third round. He was suspended a half-game in 2011 for a hit on a Stanford receiver.

Related articles: Washington Post: USC safety T.J. McDonald: Lessons from father, Monte Kiffin provide head start

ESPN: T.J. McDonald hasn’t met his expectations

LA Times: Matt Barkley, T.J. McDonald, USC teammates to assist Haitians

Video: Here’s a look at McDonald vs. Stanford in 2012.

Read More: 2013 NFL draft, 2013 Potential Patriots, T.J. McDonald,
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