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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
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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.

‘€œI had character issues,’€ he said at the combine, where he ran a 5.16 40 and hit 26 reps of 225 pounds. ‘€œI 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 ESPNBoston.com.) 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.

‘€œWe’€™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. ‘€œThe 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.

‘€œTim’€™s a great center,’€ said Gabbert, who is likely to be one of the first quarterbacks off the board at next month’€™s draft. ‘€œI 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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