Scout Sightings: Patriots Looking At Defense

The Patriots were among a number of teams scouting prospects for next year's NFL Draft this past weekend. NEPatriotsDraft's James Christensen brings you who they saw, and how those players might fit into New England's future plans

According to Chris Steuber, Patriots scouts were at a variety of games recently. We'll look at a few of the prospects from Georgia / South Carolina and Villanova / Lehigh, as well as taking a look at the NFL Draft-fest that was the Miami vs Ohio State game.

With the uncertainty surrounding the Patriots defensive-line, the Miami/Ohio State game might have been a glimpse into the future. Two impressive 5-technique defensive ends were on display in Cameron Heyward (Scouting Report) and Allen Bailey (Scouting Report).

Heyward totaled 4 tackles, including 1 TFL and an 80 yard interception return. Heyward was dominant at the line, setting the edge and occupying blockers.

Patriot fans should be drooling at the prospect of drafting the competitive DE that could kick inside and rush in nickel packages.

His counterpart from Miami, DE Allen Bailey, also had an impressive game. Bailey totaled ix tackles with 1.5 TFL while affirming our views that he will be a 3-4 DE at the next level.

Bailey really only has one pass rush move, a strong bull rush. He is not athletic enough to play 4-3 DE, nor does he possess enough of a repertoire of rush moves, but his size, strength, and motor would be an ideal fit in New England.

Offensive tackle Clint Boling from Georgia went up against South Carolina's DE Cliff Matthews, who we scouted in the SC vs Southern Miss game last week.

Boling works very well in small places, as he is able to fight off defenders with strong hands a solid base. However, he lacks the quickness and athleticism to effectively block a good speed rush or get out on stretch runs.

Matthews was all that Boling could handle on the rush, and he will see much better in the NFL. As we've said before, Boling will be a much better guard than a tackle in the NFL.

Although Dan Connolly has played pretty well so far for New England, the Patriots will probably be in the market for a guard this offseason. With Logan Mankins, Stephen Neal, and Nick Kaczur having an uncertain future due to contract, age, and injury issues respectively, the Patriots will need some depth.

Villanova wide receiver Matt Szczur is seen during football practice in Villanova, Pa., Tuesday, Aug. 17, 2010. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)
Matt Szczur of Villanova often, and rightly, draws comparisons to Wes Welker. He plays RB, WR, returns kicks, and plays wildcat QB on occasion. Szczur also hit .347 for a minor-league Cubs affiliate during the summer.

Szczur's Wildcats thoroughly dominated Lehigh, with the dual-sport athlete racking up 95 yards on 12 rushes, 18 yards on 2 catches, and two impressive punt-returns.

Julian Edelman and Wes Welker definitely have a stranglehold on the Patriots slot WR positions, but a jack-of-all trades player will always catch Bill Belichick's eye.

Prospect Profiles
Cameron Heyward
Allen Bailey
Clint Boling
Cliff Matthews
Matt Szczur

Draft Talk

James Christensen's scouting updates will appear here on throughout the year. James is the publisher of, an independent website dedicated to covering the NFL Draft and college prospects with professional potential.

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