Patriots Draft: Is Tye Hill The Choice?

Patriots Insider is pleased to bring you more exclusive content from one recent visitor to Foxborough, Clemson's Tye Hill. During his interview with this week, Hill spoke about the teams he was talking to, and shared some insight into what the Patriots asked him to do. With all the time the team spent with Hill, will the Patriots take him at 21?

The Patriots have been keen to find a solid starting cornerback since the day Ty Law left, and their attempts to address the situation through free agency have yielded limited success. The 2006 NFL Draft offers an opportunity to find Law’s replacement, an opportunity New England is seriously considering.

Former Clemson Tiger Tye Hill, the top rated cornerback in the Draft, has been around the circuit to meet teams and their coaches.

"I took three in-house visits. Tennessee, New England and the St. Louis Rams," Hill said. "Those (were) interviews, for me, I didn't have to do any workouts."

For the Patriots, finding a starting caliber corner has been tough. Tyrone Poole hasn't been healthy, and was released this off-season. Randall Gay fared respectably in his first season as a rookie, but missed most of last year with an injury. Asante Samuel has been the default corner on one side, but has been beaten for some big plays. The free agent experiment of Duane Starks failed miserably. So New England is focusing on the Draft and players like Hill.

The 5-foot-10, 180-pound Hill is anxious to get back to playing football after all the pre draft exams and interviews are done. He talked about his visits, including the one with New England.

“They are mostly like meet and greet, just talking and going over film,” Hill said. “I think when I went to New England, that's when I looked at film with their secondary coach. You also meet with the head coaches (on the visits). I feel good about my trip up there with the Patriots. It went well."

What the Patriots will do on Draft day is a mystery as always. The team’s decision to take a long look at Hill, among other top-ranked defenders, is a clear indication they want to fill a hole in their defense that has existed since Law went down with an injury in 2004. Hill would be a big step in the right direction.


Tye Hill working on his coverage skills at the 2006 Senior Bowl. (Photo by Roy Philpott/


Related: Hill's Profile || Top Ranked CBs in the Draft || More Visits /Workouts

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