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Future Patriots? These four could be next members of Rutgers-to-Foxboro pipeline

05.24.13 at 8:00 am ET
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With the recent pickup of offensive lineman Kevin Haslam earlier this week, the number of Rutgers products on the Patriots’ roster now stands at eight. That group includes Haslam; defensive backs Devin McCourty, Logan Ryan, Brandon Jones and Duron Harmon; as well as defensive end Justin Francis, linebacker Steve Beauharnais; and wide receiver Mark Harrison.

With the understanding that the Patriots now seem to be particularly fond of Rutgers’ players, here’s a look at four guys who could be in Foxboro sooner rather than later.

Wide receiver Brandon Coleman: This 6-foot-6, 220-pounder, who will be heading into his junior year this fall, is considered an elite playmaker, and recorded 43 catches for 738 yards (16.7 yards per catch) and 10 touchdowns last season. He was the leading receiver for the Scarlet Knights in 2012, but recently sat out spring drills as he recovers from a “minor procedure” on his knee. Coleman, who is just four touchdowns shy of the school record, doesn’t necessarily have elite straight-line speed, but more than makes up for it with his size and catch radius. He was second-team All-BIG EAST in 2012.

Defensive back Jeremy Deering: Around Foxboro, the saying goes “The more you can do, the more you can do for us,” and that might apply to Deering. In three years with the Scarlet Knights, he’s played Wildcat quarterback, running back and wide receiver, while also returning kickoffs and working at safety. The 6-foot-2, 210-pounder, who is heading into his senior season, was a multidimensional offensive threat as a freshman and sophomore (he rushed for 352 yards as a freshman and 169 yards as a sophomore, and finished his freshman year with 338 receiving yards), but he transitioned more into a defensive role as a junior. It remains to be seen where he projects in the NFL, but his versatility and pedigree — as well as the fact that he averaged 31.2 yards on 17 kickoff returns in 2011 — will almost certainly draw the attention of the Patriots.

Running back Savon Huggins: The 6-foot, 203-pounder, who is heading into his junior year, has been slowed by injury the last two seasons (134 carries, 377 yards), but with the departure of Jawan Jamison for the NFL, it appears all eyes will be on Huggins this fall. He’s had one breakout game as a collegian, rushing for 179 yards on 41 carries last year against Cincinnati. More performances like that will certainly get him noticed by the folks in Foxboro.

Wide receiver Quron Pratt: After a 32-catch season in 2011, big things were expected from Pratt in 2012, but a minor tweak in offensive philosophy (including a new offensive coordinator) saw his role minimized somewhat in 2012. He finished with 22 catches for 230 yards last season, but at this point, projects to be the No. 2 wide receiver on the depth chart behind Coleman.

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