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Ten undrafted free agents to keep an eye on once the lockout ends

05.01.11 at 1:05 pm ET
By

Jeff Maehl (AP)

Teams are unable to go after undrafted free agents right now because of the lockout, but when the doors are opened again, here are 10 available names the Patriots might be interested in:

Oregon wide receiver Jeff Maehl: We have been big supporters of Maehl for a long time. His dependable hands (he had 24 receiving touchdowns at Oregon, tied for the most in team history) and his agility (he had the fastest 3-cone drill time among all wide receivers at the combine) make him an attractive choice.

LSU wide receiver Terrence Toliver: Toliver played and started all 13 games for the Tigers, leading LSU in receiving with 41 catches for 579 yards and five touchdowns. He also killed it in the 3-cone drill at the combine, posting the third-best time among all wide receivers.

Missouri center Tim Barnes: Barnes met with the Patriots before the Tigers’ Pro Day, and New England ran his offensive line drills at that workout. A 6-foot-4, 298-pounder, he was a first-team All-Big 12 pick.

Fresno State quarterback Ryan Colburn: The Patriots usually bring in at least one rookie quarterback as an undrafted free agent, and Colburn’s Fresno State connection — Bulldogs’ coach Pat Hill was a former Belichick assistant, and Belichick has selected several FSU players the last few years — could be the sort of thing that attracts him to New England. (For what it’s worth, Colburn also passes the rule of 26-27-60.)

Boston College offensive lineman Rich Lapham: The New Hampshire native and nephew of former Bengals offensive lineman Dave Lapham had a knee problem that dogged him throughout the pre-draft process, but before the injury, he was considered a mid- to late-round pick. According to a league source, the Patriots had expressed an interest in him prior to the draft.

Maryland tight end Will Yeatman: Yeatman just screams developmental prospect for the Patriots. A former college lacrosse star who played college football at both Notre Dame and Maryland, the 6-foot-7, 275-pounder has the size to transition to tackle in the NFL.

Oregon defensive end Brandon Bair: Bair is 26 — spent two years on an LDS mission between high school and college — but has been celebrated by NFL Network Mike Mayock as “the ideal developmental 5-technique” defensive end in the NFL.

Rutgers safety Joe Lefeged: The Patriots did very well selecting a defensive back out of Rutgers with great special teams experience last year in Devin McCourty, and Lefeged is in the same mold — McCourty blocked seven kicks while at Rutgers, while Lefeged blocked four in his college career. He set all sorts of special teas marks with the Scarlet Knights.

Boston College linebacker Mark Herzlich: The local product everyone was rooting for went undrafted, but is now regarded by many to be the best linebacker available. The truth is that the 6-foot-3, 245-pounder is likely in a better situation now than if he was drafted as a late-round pick on Saturday. At this point, he will likely have several offers to choose from as an undrafted free agent.

Marshall inside linebacker Mario Harvey: An undersized (5-foot-11, 250 pound) overachiever, he finished his college career as the fifth-leading tackler in Marshall history. He wasn’t invited to the combine, but drew the attention of the New England staffers who watched him work out at Marshall’s Pro Day.

Read More: 2011 NFL Draft, Brandon Bair, Jeff Maehl, Joe Lefeged Print  |  Bark It Up!  |  Digg It
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