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If the Patriots were going to go after a defensive back in this draft, who would they target?

03.07.11 at 3:45 pm ET
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A little while back, we wrote about the Patriots’ affinity for wide receivers and defensive backs who score well in the 3-cone drill at the combine and their Pro Day. A lot of the relatively under-the-radar receivers (non first-rounders) they’€™ve targeted in recent years have all excelled in the agility drills, like Julian Edelman, Deion Branch, Chad Jackson and Wes Welker all lit up the 3-cone drill either at their combine appearance or at their Pro Day.

That also translates to the defensive side of the football ‘€” Devin McCourty‘€™s 6.7 in the 3-cone drill at last year’€™s combine put him second among all corners. At this year’s combine, it was a fast track, as McCourty’s 6.7 would have landed him ninth overall among defensive backs. (Other New England defensive backs who have run sub-seven seconds in the 3-cone include Darius Butler, who had a 6.92.)

We aren’t intimating that the Patriots are necessarily going to go after Buster Skrine or Chykie Brown based on their performance in the 3-cone drill (or Patrick Peterson, because he’ll be gone in the Top 10 most likely). But historically, a good performance in the 3-cone drill (or another one of the agility drills) has led to some interest from the Patriots.

Here’s are this year’s Top 10 times for the defensive backs:

1. Tennesee-Chattanooga’s Buster Skrine (6.44)
2. Texas’ Chykie Brown (6.50)
3. Idaho’s Shiloh Keo (6.55)
4. LSU’s Patrick Peterson (6.58)
5. Texas’ Curtis Brown (6.59)
6. New Mexico State’s Davon House (6.65)
7. Boise State’s Brandyn Thompson (6.66)
8. Virginia Tech’s Rashad Carmichael (6.69)
9. Texas’ Aaron Williams (6.72)
10. Nebraska’s Eric Hagg (6.73)

It’s also worth mentioning that two defensive linemen who might be good fits in the New England system ‘€” Fresno State’s Chris Carter and Wisconsin’s J.J. Watt ‘€” also did well in the 3-cone drill, with both running matching 6.88 to finished tied for second among all defensive linemen.

Read More: 2011 NFL Draft, Aaron Williams, Brandyn Thompson, Buster Skrine
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