More Big Backs?
The Patriots are in the process of looking at fullbacks and big running backs in the Draft.
Scout.com's Tony Pauline and Adam Caplan reported another sleeper to keep an eye on is Central Connecticut State's RB Justise Hairston. A former Rutgers running back who transferred to CCSU to get an opportunity to be the "go to" runner on his team.
Hairston also had private workout last month in which the Philadelphia Eagles, Cleveland Browns, San Francisco 49ers, Atlanta Falcons, New York Giants, Cincinnati Bengals, and Green Bay Packers all attended.
Listen to the Darby interview here: (each segment is about 11 minutes long)
Scout.com's Ed Thompson reported that the Patriots have shown serious interest in USC fullback Ryan Powdrell. The 6-foot, 248-pound blocking machine has already visited the Raiders and the Buccaneers. The Dolphins and Vikings have also shown interest in him.
Powdrell is probably best remembered for a gruesome injury he suffered last season when he had his leg caught in the grass and was tackled by other players snapping his lower leg and dislocating his ankle.
USC RB Ryan Powdrell
More on Powdrell's visits can be seen here in Thompson's Draft Buzz update:
NFL Draft Buzz 4/16
To see Powdrell's gruesome injury, check on YouTube.com: Video Here
Patriots Insider previously reported that the Patriots have shown interest in another Connecticut university product in UConn's Deon Anderson. Anderson has the size the Patriots are looking for in a back to take the place or Corey Dillon was released in early March. Dillon led the Patriots in touchdowns (13) last year, and his ability to find the goal line in short yardage situations is a need the Patriots must address via the Draft or free agency.
More on Anderson can be found here:
Patriots Looking To Replace Pass
Scout.com's Adam Caplan reported last week that Arizona running back Chris Henry was scheduled to visit Foxborough this week. Henry who worked out for the Patriots a second time in front of coach Fears ( Fears works out RB), earlier this month, has been in contact with New England through the time leading up to the Draft. The Patriots are reportedly very high on Henry's size and speed. They view him -- as many scouts do -- as a power back who can fill the role of a back like Dillon.
The Boston Herald reported that New Mexico offensive lineman Robert Turner visited the Patriots. New England has previously expressed interest in Turner who was scheduled to work out for four teams including the Patriots on April 25th. His visit can likely be attributed to a medical check as the 6-foot-4, 313-pound lineman has been recovering from off-season surgery on his wrist. More details on Turner's condition and the Patriots' interest can be found in this report by Scout.com from March 29th: Turner Link
OSU Ted Ginn Jr.
Ohio State receiver Ted Ginn Jr. was another guest of the Patriots Tuesday according to multiple sources. Ginn struggled to complete his personal workout in front of numerous NFL Scouts and coaches just a few days ago (April 11th) according to this Scout.com report. Ginn is also suffering from an injury, which limited his ability to workout for teams. Believed to be only 70-80% healed from that injury, Ginn was forced to cut short his pro day workout due to poor weather conditions and his continued struggles to complete routes. Scout.com reported that Ginn's draft stock may still be climbing in spite of these recent struggles. More: Ted Ginn Pro Day Results
The Herald also reported that Nebraska linebacker Stewart Bradley visited Foxborough Tuesday. The interest in 6-foot-4, 256-pound defender was evident from the Patriots since Bradley's participation in the Senior Bowl ( Senior Bowl Interest ). New England checked in on him at the Combine and his Pro Day. The Patriots worked out Bradley privately with Jay Moore after his pro day to get a better look at him. Patriots insiders who have been following along with the Pre Draft Visitor/ Workout list knew about the team's continued interest in Bradley
Scouts are reportedly high on Bradley's ability to provide run support. He has an aggressive mindset to get to the ball, combined with superior size and strength, some feel he can become a contributor early in his career. Bradley has been rising up draft boards around the league as teams realize he brings more than just Big 12 pedigree to the table. He has drawn significant interest from other teams that run the 3-4 defense including a pair of 2006 playoff teams: San Diego and Baltimore.
The Boston Globe reported that Louisville running back Michael Bush was in for a visit -- likely a medical check -- today. Bush has seen his stock drop due to a lingering injury that required a second surgery to install a new metal rod in his leg to hasten his recovery. The Patriots have expressed interest in Bush previously (See archives). If he falls in the Draft over injury concerns, New England may be interested in taking a chance on him like the way the Buffalo Bills took a chance on Willis McGahee who entered the Draft coming off major knee surgery.
The Globe also confirmed the Patriots interest in Fresno State cornerback Marcus McCauley. McCauley visited Foxborough yesterday and has been on the team's radar for some time. Insiders first learned about the team's interest in McCauley last year when the Patriots were connected to Fresno State's head coach Pat Hill's band of NFL Draft hopefuls, notably cornerback Richard Marshall. Although Marshall went to Carolina with their second round pick (58th overall) New England was high on the PAC-10 corner. The Patriots just decided they needed a receiver more, so they traded up to go get Chad Jackson of Florida at the 4th spot in the second round (36th overall).
Chris McFoy #82 of USC is pressured by Marcus McCauley #17 of Fresno State Nov 19, 2005 (Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images).
McCauley struggled with an injury last season, eventually losing his grip on the starting job. Prior to that, scouts were telling Scout.com insiders that McCauley was better than Marshall and that teams might want to pass on Marshall in favor of his teammate the following season. New England was one of the teams to take a closer look at McCauley throughout his pre-draft training. From the senior bowl through the Combine and his Pro Day, the Patriots were connected with the back.
McCauley has made visits to the Jets and the Chargers, while the Ravens have shown significant interested in the corner. Scout.com's Denis Savage spoke with McCauley last week and reported that he had three visits pending of which New England was one of them.
TFY Draft Preview's Tony Pauline gave this scouting report on McCauley at the Senior Bowl: A physical specimen who likes to challenge players at the line of scrimmage. His play can be streaky, but when on his game he can shadow receivers in man coverage and does a good job anticipating routes. He can be exposed by long-developing patterns.
For more daily updates on Draft Prospect workouts, the team's interest and private workouts, be sure to check the Patriots Workout and Visitor List regularly.