Draft Buzz: Patriots Interested In Top DB

The New England Patriots have a dilemma; two of their starting safeties are free agents. One, possibly both, may not be back in 2009. Maybe that's one more reason why New England was busy checking in on top safety prospects at the Senior Bowl. Scout.com's Ed Thompson caught up with one prospect who is firmly on the Patriots radar.

Former Oklahoma safety, Nic Harris, worked hard all week leading up to the Senior Bowl game before tweaking his hamstring. Although he missed the game, the 6-foot-2, 233-pound safety made a strong showing despite being asked to switch positions and show how he could handle the linebacker position during practices.

The Cardinals, Falcons, Eagles, Broncos, Texans, Buccaneers, Vikings, Seahawks, Bears, Patriots, Jaguars, Panthers, Saints, Lions, and Bengals were among the numerous teams who sat down with the friendly, yet hard-hitting safety during the week to get to know him better.

I caught up with Harris by phone after he left Mobile, and asked him to reflect on the week that brought him another step closer to being drafted by an NFL team this April.

Ed Thompson: So what were your overall impressions of the Senior Bowl week experience?

Nic Harris: It was great, I talked to a lot of teams. It was really challenging to be practicing at the linebacker position. But I think I handled the transition extremely well, going out there and making plays throughout the week and understanding the concept of what it takes to be an NFL-caliber linebacker.


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Thompson: What was the most fun you had all week? And what was the most challenging part of the week?

Harris: The most fun was interacting with the representatives from the teams—being put in the position where you can sit down and let the team see who you really are as a person day to day. The most challenging aspect of it was in the beginning, but as the week progressed it all ended up being fine.

Thompson: Based on your interviews with teams, did you get the impression that most of them are looking at you as a safety or as a linebacker?

Harris: I think the majority of the teams still want me to play safety. I think moving to linebacker was just an experimental process, just to see if I could do it in case I had any inquiries about the position.

Thompson: Tell me more about the decision you had to make last Friday regarding your injury that held you out of the game.

Harris: I had to leave because of a slightly pulled hamstring. I talked with the doctors, and even though it was pretty superficial, they didn't want to chance anything. I came back to get treatment so that I could start my training for Combine. But when I look back on my workouts through the week, I think I had a great week.

Thompson: Where are you doing your training?

Harris: I'll be working out here at WPI in Atlanta. It'll be 100 percent balls-to-the-wall and 100 percent focused on the Combine so that I can put up the numbers that I need to put up.

A member of the Pro Football Writers of America, Ed Thompson's player interviews and NFL features are published across the Scout.com network and at FOXSports.com. You can contact him by email through this link.

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