Patriots Insider (PI) first reported in February that the team was looking at former Miami cornerback Kelly Jennings during the Senior Bowl and the Combine. PI has since learned that not only is Jennings on the watch list, he actually spend some private time with the New England staff in Foxborough.
Jennings had a pre-draft workout with Bill Belichick and the New England Patriots this past weekend as the team started firming up its draft board. Jennings brief meeting with the Patriots at the Senior Bowl piqued their interest, and the team wanted a closer look at what the top-ranked prospect offers.
"I had a workout with Bill Belichick and his staff on Friday," said Jennings.
The 5-foot-11, 180-pound former Hurricane is expected to be a late first or early second round pick. After showing strong interest in Jennings and Fresno State cornerback Richard Marshall (who was also set to workout in Foxborough) it appears that New England is focused on which position could help them the most on defense. They've already spoken with defensive linemen and linebackers, but the secondary is a bigger area of need.
The Patriots defensive backfield has already seen its share of off-season losses. Tyrone Poole and Duane Starks have been released. Michael Stone and Chad Scott have been allowed to test free agency. Only Hank Poteat and Artrell Hawkins, two free agents signed off the street last season, have been added to the roster. The Patriots are looking to add some much-needed depth at a position and Jennings represents that possibility.
Kelly Jennings #22, DB Miami.
Jennings is sure to be a highly sought after prospect in this years draft, next to Clemson's Tye Hill and Penn State's Alan Zemaitis. If New England is going to select him, they're going to have to use their first round pick #21, as he will most likely not be on the board when their turn comes in the second round.
Jennings said New England is the only team that has worked him out to date.
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