Although the New England Patriots are in the market for a veteran backup quarterback, The Boston Herald reports that Matt Cassel could have the number 2 job sewed up. The Patriots were pleasantly surprised with Cassel's performance in last year's finale against the Miami Dolphins and despite not seeing much action at USC, he seems to possess some of the same qualities as Tom Brady. These are some of the reasons the Pats have decided to keep Cassel in Foxborough instead of assigning him to the NFLE.
With draft day less than a week away, much has been written regarding what the Patriot's needs are and whom they will likely take come the 29th. The Boston Herald is speculating that DeAngelo Williams, Laurence Maroney and LenDale White should be there at 21 although Bill Belichick hasn't chosen a marquee player since his arrival in 2000.
The Patriots have been looking heavily at the offensive line this off season, and The South Coast Today reviews the possibilty that the Patriots will select an offensive lineman with some of their later picks. "'Need is of no concern to this dynamic drafting duo [Bill Belichick and Scott Pioli]; they follow the 'best player available'philosophy, and more often than not end up calling upon that player sooner rather than later."
The Associated Press reports that Marcus Vick is under extra scrutiny caused by his colligate year's antics. "That kind of hurts me," Marcus Vick said. "But I'm a hard worker. I'm going to keep on fighting through my ups and downs." Time will tell if he will end up another Lawrence Phillips or hold true to his famous bloodlines: brother Michael Vick.
The Boston Globe reports that Georgia's tight end Leonard Pope looks more like a power forward in the NBA than a football player. "I think he's definitely unique," said Patriots tight end Benjamin Watson, a college teammate of Pope's. "He's got something that nobody can teach: He's 6-8 [actually 6-7 3/4]. That's definitely a plus for him." Pope is far from a polished blocker, but few college tight ends are, and at a lean 258 pounds, his build suggests that he will continue to mature physically. As built, however, few defenders can match up with him vertically, and smaller players tend to bounce off him when he gets to full speed in the secondary.
Tony Pauline of TFY Draft Preview and Scout.com has his overhyped Draft prospect list on SportsIllustrated.com. Of note in Tony's article are a few players the Patriots have been looking at as they prepare for the Draft.
The Rest of today's newswire: Monday Wire