Patriots Draft: Another TE For New England?

Are the Patriots really scouting another Tight End? That's what Patriots Insider has learned. The team is looking to replace the recently departed Christian Fauria, and has worked out one top-ranked draft prospect to see how well he fits the New England mold. Ranked as one of the top prospects available, it's conceivable the Patriots spend yet another early pick on a tight end in the Draft.

Patriots Insider has learned New England scouts worked out former Notre Dame tight end Anthony Fasano. The 6-foot-5, 259-pound Fasano brings both blocking skills and the ability catch the ball, similar in vein to what Fauria had during his four seasons in Foxborough.

TFY Draft Preview describes Fasano as an "Athletic tight end and natural pass-catching threat. Quickly releases into routes, adjusts to the errant throw or lays out for the difficult reception."

Fauria also possessed those skills. More of a passing threat than a blocking threat, Fauria worked on his technique in both areas to be the Patriots solution at tight end until the emergence of first-round draft picks Ben Watson and Daniel Graham.

While having former Patriot coordinator Charlie Weis as his head coach helped his visibility at Notre Dame, Fasano knows that teams want to see more of what he can do after posting solid receiving numbers for the Irish last season. After skipping the workout at the combine due to a hamstring injury, he understood his pro day was one of his last chances to impress scouts.

"Coming in, I knew I had to run my 40 because I didn't do it at the combine," Fasano told the Star Ledger. "I was kind of nervous about it before my pro day. I knew I had to run, but I was still worried [his hamstring] would give me problems. Luckily, it didn't and it feels great now."

Fasano turned in a decent 4.74 and 4.71 seconds time in his 40-yard sprint. His time was on par witih Graham's reported 4.7 speed, but a far sight short of Watson's blazing 4.43.

Fasano knows that his speed is a concern for some teams, but his other techniques are equally important. He realizes that everything he does now is about getting drafted; it's no longer about just football.

"You definitely see football as more of a business at the combine," said Fasano.

Bedsides having a personal workout for the Patriots, Fasano is scheduled to visit Tampa Bay on April 12-13. He has meetings set with the New York Jets as well, but no further workouts.

In his senior season at Notre Dame, Fasano was one of three finalists for the John Mackey Award, presented every season to college football's outstanding tight end. He managed 45 receptions for 564 yards (12.5 yard avg.) and two touchdowns. He ranks second in school history for career catches by a tight end with 90 receptions in three seasons.

 

Tight end Anthony Fasano #88 of the University of Notre Dame Fighting Irish carries the ball against the University of Southern California Trojans on October 15, 2005 at Notre Dame Stadium in South Bend, Indiana. USC defeated Notre Dame 34-31. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

 

Related: Fasano Profile || TE Draft Rankings || More stories on Fasano || Draft discussion || Official Bio

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