New England Patriots Links 3/01/11 - No CBA Means No Contracts, Contact Between Players, Teams Allowed

Mike Reiss has some Patriots-based leftovers from four days at the NFL Combine in Indianapolis:

Patriots like depth of front-seven talent in draft. One theme that was repeated by NFL general managers and coaches was that the 2011 draft is deep along the defensive line and at outside linebacker. Count the Patriots in that category as well. "Like any draft year, there are certain positions that are a little deeper than others. The front-seven group of players is a solid group, there's no question about it," Patriots Director of Player Personnel Nick Caserio told the team's website.

Patriots media contingent leads the way. The media center at the Combine was jam-packed, to the point that extra tables were set up in one corner to accomodate the overflow. This is one of the events where it's a unique mix of media members -- from team websites, to draft publications, to more from the traditional mainstream outlets. By an informal count, no team had more outlets covering it than the Patriots. The New England roster looked like this: Boston Globe, Boston Herald, Patriots.com, Comcast SportsNet, WEEI and ESPNBoston.com. Others with New England ties included Aaron Schatz of Football Outsiders and Brian McIntyre and his must-read "Mac's Football Blog."

More on the running back group and Patriots' need. In speaking with one evaluator focusing on running backs, his opinion was that this group is deep, with the chance to select a contributor as late as the fourth and possibly fifth round. His feeling was that one player who really helped himself was Oklahoma's DeMarco Murray. With their bounty of picks, this is an area I expect the Patriots to tap between rounds 2-4. Last running back drafted by the Patriots: Justise Hairston of Central Connecticut in 2007.

Christopher Price reports that QB Greg McElroy (Alabama) is all about Tom Brady.

"He’s the most fun guy to watch in the league right now,” McElroy said of Brady. “There’s a lot of efficient quarterbacks, but as far as his control, his balance, the way he sets up in the pocket, the way he is so mechanically sound, it really is such a joy to watch. It really is such a joy to watch. He’s so fluid. He never gets flustered. Just his subtle movements, all of his subtleties, every little detail is addressed."

“Coach [Nick] Saban would never let me watch another quarterback play. He thinks that’s soft or something, but yeah, I obviously have spent time watching Tom Brady. He’s a hero of mine and a guy who I would love nothing more than to try to pattern my game off of.”

Would be mind backing up Brady? “In a heartbeat, absolutely.”

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