Patriots Draft: Team Works Out a DE/OLB

Replacing Willie McGinest is no easy task, and will not be accomplished by looking at players projected to go on Day 2 of the Draft. That hasn't stopped the Patriots from taking a closer look at some players on defense who could fit the mold of an outside linebacker who can rush the passer similar to what McGinest, Vrabel and others have been asked to do. Here is one little known prospect the team worked out recently.

Patriots Insider has learned that the New England Patriots worked out another DE/ OLB prospect recently in Cal Poly's Chris Gocong. In what is rapidly becoming a trend for the team, the Patriots are looking at players who are defensive ends in college, but project as linebackers in the pros.

"I talked to a lot of teams about that," Gocong told the San Louis Obispo Tribune. "About playing along with the D-line stuff. I think it went pretty well."

Gocong, the Division I-AA Defensive Player of the Year, is currently rated as the No. 21 defensive end prospect available for the 2006 NFL Draft by He showed his speed in the short shuttle (4.08 seconds) and the long shuttle (11.35 seconds) besting the other players in his group at the combine. (full combine results here)

Projected as a second day prospect, Gocong's performance has drawn interest from several other teams interested in employing a similar defense to the Patriots' 3-4 scheme. Both Atlanta and Dallas have spoken with the former mustang. With Cal-Poly normally using a 3-4 base defense, teams looking for personnel to fill out their roster have considered more players like Gocong as a possible fit for their systems.

Scouting Report
Name: Chris Gocong School: Cal-Poly Pos: DE

Ht: 6-2 Wt: 263 40: 4.79 Year: 5Sr

Bio: Three-year starter awarded the Buck Buchanan Trophy last year, given to the nation's top Division I-AA defender. Finished his senior campaign with 98/31/23.5 after totals of 71/21.5/17.5 as a junior.

Pos: Tenacious, instinctive ballplayer consistently making plays behind the line of scrimmage. Displays tremendous speed, quickness and force off the edge. Plays with excellent pad level and fast in any direction of the field. Immediately changes direction and makes tackles in pursuit.

Neg: Lacks size and bulk, and can be handled at the point by a single blocker. Takes a lot of wide angles around linemen.

Analysis: A team player who leads by example, Gocong has potential as a situational pass rusher or linebacker in the 3-4 defense at the next level. Tenacity and passion for the game should make him a special teams demon.


Related: Gocong Profile || DE Draft Rankings || More Draft Articles || Add Players to your Hotlist || Draft Discussion || Official Bio

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