Patriots Interest In McKelvin Heats Up

The Patriots are busy working out top defensive prospects for April's NFL Draft. With the seventh overall pick, New England is expected to select either a linebacker or a top defensive back. According to our own Ed Thompson, Troy defensive back Leodis McKelvin is of particular interest.

Replacing Asante Samuel isn't going to be easy, and there likely isn't a quick fix solution. The Patriots are looking at players available for the coming Draft who have the ability to develop into fulltime starters.

One of those defenders, Leodis McKelvin, is expected to become a top corner at the next level. The 5-foot-10, 190-pound product from Troy wowed scouts and personnel decision makers at the NFL Combine last month by turning in a 4.38 40-yard dash and a 4.10 in the 20-yard shuttle.

As reported in the Insider's Lounge (here), McKelvin is expected to workout for the Patriots this coming week. Scout.com's Ed Thompson confirmed the workout with McKelvin in a pre-draft interview Saturday.

"They're looking for a corner, and I feel I'm the number one corner in the draft, so I'm ready to go through anything for them," McKelvin told Thompson.

In his senior season, McKelvin recorded 60 tackles (50 solo), two interceptions, 11 pass breakups and 3 forced fumbles. In addition to his spectacular defensive play, McKelvin is a dynamic kick returner. He recorded 33 kickoff returns for 765 yards (23.2 avg.) and 25 punt returns for 436 yards (17.4 avg.) with three touchdowns.

McKelvin's special teams ability would afford the Patriots additional options in the return game, especially important after Ellis Hobbs was shut down from return duties late in the season due to injury. McKelvin amassed 3,909 all-purpose yards - third most in Sun Belt Conference history. He returned seven punts and one kick for eight total touchdowns, which tied a Division I-A record.

A 2007 All-Sun Belt first team selection, McKelvin is widely considered one of the top 5 players in the country at the corner position, and could fit the Patriots scheme well.

If their actions are any indication of their intent, the Patriots are likely to take a cornerback with their first round pick. They have been busy scouting the other top prospects at corner already. New England has worked out Terrell Thomas (USC), met with Aqib Talib (Kansas), personally scouted Mike Jenkins (South Florida), and been in contact with Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie (Tennessee State).

If the Patriots want McKelvin at No. 7 overall, they're likely to get him, according to Scout.com's NFL Draft expert Chris Stueber. Stueber listed McKelvin as the cornerback most likely to be drafted in the top 10 in his recent mock draft. Stueber has the Patriots selecting him at the seventh spot.

If New England opts to trade down -- as many other draft projections have speculated -- McKelvin might be available, but the Patriots will need to be careful. Baltimore, Buffalo and New Orleans are also considered to be interested in cornerbacks. Baltimore selects at 8th spot while the Saints select 10th and the Bills have the 11th pick in the Draft.

"Baltimore has shown a lot of interest in Leodis," Troy strength and conditioning coach Richard Shaughnessy told Ravens Insider Aaron Wilson this week. "He's a very good football player and an even better person. I think the Ravens would be a great fit for him with the way they play defense up there."

The Bills met with McKelvin on Thursday according to Thompson, and has meetings lined up with the Ravens, Patriots and the Saints in the next two weeks.

McKelvin is looking forward to meeting with the Patriots according to his recent comments in the Montgomery Advertiser.

"That's a big honor to have them coming in here," McKelvin told the Advertiser. "I just have to make the most of the opportunity and really showcase what I can do and how I can help them. I know they need a corner right now, and I think I can fill that spot."

If all goes well, McKelvin just might find himself in a position to help New England complete the goal they had in mind two months ago - winning their fourth Super Bowl this decade.

 



Jon Scott has covered the NFL since 1995, and is a regular contributor to Patriots Insider. A member of the Pro Football Writers of America (PFWA), Jon has been a guest analyst on Sporting News Radio, ESPN Radio and other outlets around the web, including other publications on the Scout.com network. You can reach Jon in the forums at PatriotsInsider.com or

Material from personal interviews, wire and scout.com reports was used in this article.

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Patriots Insider Top Stories

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","mobileBody":"

Replacing Asante Samuel isn't going to be easy, and there likely isn't a quick fix solution. The Patriots are looking at players available for the coming Draft who have the ability to develop into fulltime starters.

One of those defenders, Leodis McKelvin, is expected to become a top corner at the next level. The 5-foot-10, 190-pound product from Troy wowed scouts and personnel decision makers at the NFL Combine last month by turning in a 4.38 40-yard dash and a 4.10 in the 20-yard shuttle.

As reported in the Insider's Lounge (here), McKelvin is expected to workout for the Patriots this coming week. Scout.com's Ed Thompson confirmed the workout with McKelvin in a pre-draft interview Saturday.

"They're looking for a corner, and I feel I'm the number one corner in the draft, so I'm ready to go through anything for them," McKelvin told Thompson.

In his senior season, McKelvin recorded 60 tackles (50 solo), two interceptions, 11 pass breakups and 3 forced fumbles. In addition to his spectacular defensive play, McKelvin is a dynamic kick returner. He recorded 33 kickoff returns for 765 yards (23.2 avg.) and 25 punt returns for 436 yards (17.4 avg.) with three touchdowns.

McKelvin's special teams ability would afford the Patriots additional options in the return game, especially important after Ellis Hobbs was shut down from return duties late in the season due to injury. McKelvin amassed 3,909 all-purpose yards - third most in Sun Belt Conference history. He returned seven punts and one kick for eight total touchdowns, which tied a Division I-A record.

A 2007 All-Sun Belt first team selection, McKelvin is widely considered one of the top 5 players in the country at the corner position, and could fit the Patriots scheme well.

If their actions are any indication of their intent, the Patriots are likely to take a cornerback with their first round pick. They have been busy scouting the other top prospects at corner already. New England has worked out Terrell Thomas (USC), met with Aqib Talib (Kansas), personally scouted Mike Jenkins (South Florida), and been in contact with Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie (Tennessee State).

If the Patriots want McKelvin at No. 7 overall, they're likely to get him, according to Scout.com's NFL Draft expert Chris Stueber. Stueber listed McKelvin as the cornerback most likely to be drafted in the top 10 in his recent mock draft. Stueber has the Patriots selecting him at the seventh spot.

If New England opts to trade down -- as many other draft projections have speculated -- McKelvin might be available, but the Patriots will need to be careful. Baltimore, Buffalo and New Orleans are also considered to be interested in cornerbacks. Baltimore selects at 8th spot while the Saints select 10th and the Bills have the 11th pick in the Draft.

"Baltimore has shown a lot of interest in Leodis," Troy strength and conditioning coach Richard Shaughnessy told Ravens Insider Aaron Wilson this week. "He's a very good football player and an even better person. I think the Ravens would be a great fit for him with the way they play defense up there."

The Bills met with McKelvin on Thursday according to Thompson, and has meetings lined up with the Ravens, Patriots and the Saints in the next two weeks.

McKelvin is looking forward to meeting with the Patriots according to his recent comments in the Montgomery Advertiser.

"That's a big honor to have them coming in here," McKelvin told the Advertiser. "I just have to make the most of the opportunity and really showcase what I can do and how I can help them. I know they need a corner right now, and I think I can fill that spot."

If all goes well, McKelvin just might find himself in a position to help New England complete the goal they had in mind two months ago - winning their fourth Super Bowl this decade.

 



Jon Scott has covered the NFL since 1995, and is a regular contributor to Patriots Insider. A member of the Pro Football Writers of America (PFWA), Jon has been a guest analyst on Sporting News Radio, ESPN Radio and other outlets around the web, including other publications on the Scout.com network. You can reach Jon in the forums at PatriotsInsider.com or

Material from personal interviews, wire and scout.com reports was used in this article.

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Draft Rankings (Top 100, By Position, by School, by Name)

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