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Updates on the Patriots and their work with prospects Kenrick Ellis, Ricky Stanzi and Tim Barnes

03.26.11 at 12:03 pm ET

Kenrick Ellis runs at the NFL scouting combine last month. Ellis worked out for the Patriots on Friday. (AP)

A few quick notes on private workouts and the Patriots:

•The Patriots worked out Hampton defensive tackle Kenrick Ellis on Friday, according to his agent. A massive prospect at 6-foot-5 and 346 pounds, many have him pegged as a second- or third-round prospect who could play on the nose and at five-technique in the NFL. Ellis was dismissed from South Carolina early in his collegiate career (reportedly for a failed drug test), something he addressed at the combine last month.

“I had character issues,” he said at the combine, where he ran a 5.16 40 and hit 26 reps of 225 pounds. “I had disciplinary problems. They did everything they could. It just didn’t work out for me. I had to get out of there. I had to look within myself and change a lot of things within myself and around me. And after I changed those things, it was pretty much easy after that. I had to realize that I had a problem, and I confronted it and overcame it.”

As a senior, Ellis was first Team All-MEAC. He finished second on the team in tackles with 94 total tackles (34 solo, 60 assisted), and was also second on the team with 15.0 tackles for loss, totaling 37 yards.

•In addition, it was confirmed that Iowa quarterback Ricky Stanzi was worked out by the Patriots on the Iowa campus on Thursday. (The news was first reported by Stanzi, a 6-foot-4, 223-pounder, is projected by most as a mid-round selection, but has an ace in the hole when it comes to the Patriots — he’s spent the pre-draft process working with Bay Area quarterbacking guru Tom Martinez, who has served as Tom Brady’s advisor for almost 20 years.

“We’ve been working on a lot of mechanical stuff, talking about the throwing motion, the science of it,” Stanzi said of Martinez, who has tutored Brady since the Patriots quarterback was a teenager. “The same with the footwork and getting down to the nitty gritty details, finding little tweaks or different moves that might be able to help you get a little more speed on the ball, get the ball a little bit deeper. At the same time, keeping what you do and fine-tuning it, finding some things you hadn’t known about, and now you can throw the ball with a little more power or deeper.”

A three-year starter at Iowa, Stanzi is coming off a senior season where he went 221-for-345 for 3,004 yards, 25 touchdowns and just six interceptions. At the Hawkeyes’ recent Pro Day, Stanzi ran 4.93 twice in the 40, had a 34-inch vertical, a 9-foot-7 broad jump, and ran 4.56 and 7.23 in the short shuttle and 3-cone drill, respectively, to go with 16 bench-press reps. In addition, he reportedly scored a 30 on the Wonderlic.

•And Missouri center Tim Barnes met with the Patriots before the Tigers’ Pro Day recently and New England ran his offensive line drills during that workout, but according to a league source, there was no private workout for Barnes. Barnes is a 6-foot-4, 298-pounder who was a first-team All-Big 12 pick. He’s projected as a mid-round selection, but wasn’t invited to the combine — much to the surprise of his quarterback, Blaine Gabbert.

“Tim’s a great center,” said Gabbert, who is likely to be one of the first quarterbacks off the board at next month’s draft. “I know he’s going to be an extremely successful offensive lineman at the next level because I’ve seen what he can do on the college football field. He’s one of the best offensive linemen I’ve ever played with.”

Read More: 2011 NFL Draft, Blaine Gabbert, Kenrick Ellis, Ricky Stanzi
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