Patriots sent McCluster to drawing board
|02.27.10 at 11:40 am ET|
INDIANAPOLIS — Ole Miss running back Dexter McCluster is one of the more electrifying players the 2010 NFL Draft has to offer, but the biggest question regarding the 5-foot-8, 165-pounder is which position he will play in the NFL. At Ole Miss he saw time as a running back and as a receiver, and given his speed he has been discussed as playing a similar role on a team to that of Reggie Bush or Percy Harvin. For the Patriots, slot receiver will do just fine.
“I talked to the Patriots [at the Senior Bowl],” McCluster said Saturday morning. “They put me on the drawing board, had me drawing up my routes and ‘What would I do in certain situations?’
“It was more of a slot-receiver-type role.”
The 21 year-old said he can run all kinds of routes but he is better utilized when he is thrown “something quick to get [his] hands on the ball.”
McCluster could be available when the Patriots pick in the second round, and given the “fun” he plans on having Sunday when he runs what he expects to be a 4.3 40 yard dash, other teams could find his speed enticing enough to warrant early selection.
Much to his surprise, McCluster said many of the teams he has met with plan on keeping him at running back. Regardless of defined position, the Rebel plans on playing up his biggest strength similarly to how he did in college by “just creating mismatches.”
Another plus for McCluster in terms of him being a potential Patriots draft choice is his outstanding return capabilities and his love for playing special teams. McCluster said he has long begged coaches to let him work as a gunner on the punt team. When he did get the opportunity to see time at gunner, “they fair caught it.”
McCluster had 22 total touchdowns in four seasons at Ole Miss, though he didn’t see significant playing time until his junior year.