2007 Draft: Pioli & Mangini Scout Prospects

Patriots personnel man Scott Pioli spent another day in California scouring pro day workouts. For the second day in a row he was alongside Jets head coach Eric Mangini who happens to be looking at the same players. This time the pair had plenty of company as they scouted another fast riser in the Draft. With a pair of visits already scheduled, this prospect now has another.

Scott Pioli and the Patriots scouts were at the Home Depot Center in Carson, California to watch the Hawaii players pro day along with several other California Draft prospects including Cal-Poly's CB, Courtney Brown go through their drills. It was the second day Pioli scouted alongside former Patriots coach Eric Mangini (Jets) and Dolphins GM Randy Mueller.

Cal-Poly CB Courtney Brown

One of the fastest risers up most boards because of some blistering 40-times, Brown is making big strides and projected to rocket up Draft boards after his workout. He wasn't invited to the Combine, partly because of questions about his speed. At his pro day, Brown ran a 4.35 and a 4.32 40 and also posted an amazing 41-inch vertical.

Brown suffered an ACL tear in 2004 and missed most of the season. He bounced back in 2005 and showed why he deserves to be considered as a playmaker after he posted seven interceptions.

At 6-foot-2, 200-pounds, Brown has the frame required to be physical with receivers. He could end up being a good free safety as well as at corner. His fluid moves in coverage are reminiscent of Denver's Champ Bailey, only with size. He has shown the ability to turn and run with a receiver (Swiveling the hips as scouts put it) and he rarely loses a midair battle because of his impressive leaping ability.

Brown is the subject of much attention as the Cleveland Browns - coached by former Patriots coordinator Romeo Crennel - are also taking a closer look at the defender. The Green Bay Packers and Seattle Seahawks have already set up official visits with the cornerback, the Tennessee Titans just added him to their list of invitees.

One main concern with Brown is that he played at a lower level of competition (1-AA instead of D-1). Even with the lack of pedigree, there's no refuting his athleticism and upside should he land in the right defensive system with a good secondary coach. Former Cal Poly defensive lineman Chris Gocong managed to overcome the perceived lack of competition to get picked by the Philadelphia Eagles in the third round of the 2006 NFL Draft (71st overall). Gocong was on New England's radar last year, which explains why the team is back to look at other Cal Poly products this season.

Look for a team to select Brown as a potential sleeper in the Draft. He's the type of player the Patriots would take a chance on with one of their compensatory picks, but it's unlikely he'll last that long. With the buzz Brown has created in his workouts, he's moved himself from a camp invitee into the middle of the Draft.

San Diego State wide receiver Ramal Porter (2) catches a 25-yard touchdown pass in front of Cal Poly San Luis Obispo's Courtney Brown, right, during the first quarter of a college football game Saturday, Oct. 28, 2006, in San Diego. (AP Photo/Denis Poroy)

 

Scott Eklund from Seahawks.net and Tony Pauline from TFY Draft Preview contributed to this report

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