Patriots checking out Basketball Players

Patriots Insider has confirmed three basketball players who have spent time working with the New England Patriots scouts. Are any of them likely to be the next Antonio Gates?

While verifying the team's interest in two-sport athletes, a number of NFL prospects claim to have hoops skills on their resume. Why? Maybe because it sounds more impressive to be a multi-sport athlete. As if being a start college football player weren't enough responsibility.

We've talked to a number of NFL prospects this year, going on close to 30 personal conversations, with dozens of more calls, emails and tweets - yes we use twitter.

Three players on the New England Patriots radar screen have basketball backgrounds. All three worked out for Patriots scouts. One, stood head and shoulders above the competition, WR Tommy Breaux.

Breaux who stands 6-foot-7, has the frame of a basketball player, but the mindset of the football player. In a recent interview, Breaux told PatriotsInsider.com that he wanted to play football in college which is why he transferred from Blinn to Towson.

Breaux projects as a late round pick or free agent. He hopes to hear his name called on Draft weekend. Catch Tommy's highlights here: LINK And an exclusive interview we did with Tommy here: Link

As Scout.com's Bill Huber reported, New England has talked to Cleveland State's J'Nathan Bullock already. Now, they're considering Arizona's Fendi Onobun. The Tucson Citizen reported that the Arizona basketball player worked out for the Buffalo Bills, Carolina Panthers and New England Patriots.

"It is a crash course," Onobun told the Tucson Citizen. "Now I'm just learning about all the terminology, trying to make things happen."

Onobun has never played football before, but at 6-foot-6, 250 pounds he sure has the build for the sport. In his workouts for the scouts, he said he a 4.5 in the 40-yard dash, had a vertical leap of 37 1/2 and his broad jump was 10 feet, 7 inches. Comparatively speaking, these numbers instantly put Onobun amongst the cream of the TE crop.

South Carolina's Jared Cook pulled the best time among tight ends at the Combine with a 4.5. Onobun's broad jump would have also been the best at the position and his vertical leap would have been second to Cook.

With Arizona, Onobun rarely played. His best season came as a freshman when he scored only 3.1 points per game. In short, basketball is not in his future plans so he's willing to give football a shot.

Where the Patriots go on Day Two of the Draft is anyone's guess. Expect the unexpected after a crazy first day of the Draft.

Scout.com's Tyler Dunne contributed to this report


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