James Walker (ESPN) AFC East Combine primer.
Pass-rushers at a premium: Every AFC East team, to some degree, needs more help rushing the passer. Keep an eye on athletic defensive ends and/or outside linebackers who really stand out at the combine. The Buffalo Bills and New England Patriots, in particular, are two teams looking for a dynamic pass-rusher. Both teams could be aiming to find one in the first round.
Double trouble: The Patriots are one of three teams with two picks in the first round. Traditionally, Patriots head coach Bill Belichick likes to trade back for additional picks. But I have a feeling New England will do the unexpected this year. That could mean either trading up or simply using their two first-round picks in the slots provided. New England has a bevy of needs, particularly on defense. The Patriots could use help at all three levels defensively.
Safety first: The New York Jets need a safety (or two) more than any team in this draft. New York's defense was beat over the middle often last season by pass-catching tight ends. Jim Leonhard is a free agent coming off a season-ending knee injury and isn't expected to sign with a team until he's 100 percent. Starter Eric Smith struggled mightily and the Jets could use an upgrade there. Alabama's Mark Barron is the top safety prospect in the draft and often linked to New York with the No. 16 overall pick. The Dolphins and Patriots also are in the market for a safety.
Watch the interviews: Teams have a chance to interview a certain number of prospects at the combine. Watch for who the Bills, Jets, Patriots and Dolphins decide to spend personal time with next week.
Report (ESPN) Tom Martinez, longtime mentor of Tom Brady, dies at 66.
The Patriots offered their condolences to Martinez's family on Twitter on Tuesday night.
"Our sincere condolences go out to the Martinez family & all those he mentored throughout his incredible career."
Brady's father, Tom Brady Sr., called Tom Martinez's passing "a big loss," and called his son and Martinez "soul brothers."
"Tom was just a terrific guy," Brady Sr. told ESPNBoston.com's Mike Reiss. "It's just a real sad day because he has coached and mentored and parented so many kids for so many years. He was a tough coach who was extraordinarily well respected. He just loved his kids, loved to get the best out of them. When kids got out of his programs, they all came back to visit him. He was a real wonderful, wonderful guy."
- Erik Scalavino and the PFW crew are back in Indy and reporting what to look for at this year's Scouting Combine.
- Patriots Mock Draft tracker: Updated sample of what the 'experts' are predicting the Patriots will do in the first round come Draft weekend.
- Andy Hart's Ask PFW: Moss, Wallace and the offseason heating up.
- Patriots Today - Franchise tag, Combine, and more. (2.44 min. video)
- Ian Rapoport is told by a source that Brandon Spikes had successful surgery on his right knee to clean out some cartilage. "It went very well."
- Ian Rapoport says that if Matt Light decides to retire, than he will have wrapped up his 11-year career at the top of his game.
- Ian Rapoport offers two views on Dan Koppen and the free-agent center market.
- Ian Rapoport notes Marcus Cannon will be now considered a tackle, not a guard.
- Mike Reiss notes some stats that show the Patriots could benefit from a big-play receiver outside the numbers.
- Jeff Howe previews the wide receivers available in free agency, and which players might be a fit for the Patriots.
- WEEI profiles WR Alshon Jeffery (South Carolina), DE Chandler Jones (Syracuse) and DE Quinton Coples (North Carolina) as potential Draft picks for the Patriots.
- Mike Reiss offers three perspectives on the possibility of NE making a run at Steelers restricted free agent Mike Wallace.
- Jimmy Toscano traces the history of the 27th pick in the Draft since 2001, to get an idea of what kind of player the Patriots might select.
- Mike Reiss acknowledges the work of the Patriots' scouting staff and is structure.
- Mike Reiss answers his weekly reader mailbag: Starting to scout the potential.
- Tom E. Curran notes Tom Brady and Wes Welker visited Tom Martinez in California during the Wildcard bye week so his mentor could evaluate his throwing motion.
- Christopher Price writes that simply put, you cannot tell the story of Tom Brady without Tom Martinez.
- Amalie Benjamin visited Tom Martinez at his home a few weeks ago, and here is her article from January 28th.
- Jeff Howe thinks Brian Hoyer will continue to receive a lot of attention this offseason and 19 other NFL thoughts.
- The AP reports that the Rams have been allowed by the St. Louis Convention and Visitors Bureau to play their "home" game in London in 2012 vs. the Patriots.
- 2012 NFL Scouting Combine: Daily schedule of events.
- Peter Schrager (Fox Sports) What to watch for at the NFL Combine.
- Eric Edholm (Pro Football Weekly) The first fifteen: Scouting Combine edition.
- Jim Corbett (USA Today) 5 questions at the NFL Scouting Combine.
- Bruce Feldman (CBS Sports) Top 10: Best bets to put on Combine freak show.
- Clifton Brown (Sporting News) Sizing up Robert Griffin III among key Combine questions.
Official Site (NFL.com) 2012 NFL Scouting Combine: Feb 22-28.
- Staff Report (San Mateo Daily News) Longtime CSM coach dies: Tom Martinez, mentor of Tom Brady, succumbs to heart attack at 67.
- Ed Bouchette (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette) What is Mike Wallace worth?
- make a run at Mike Wallace? (Nat'l Football Post) Would you
- Michael David Smith (ProFootballTalk) Talk heats up in Pittsburgh that Mike Wallace could leave.
- Franchise tag needs an overhaul. (ESPN)
- Wes Bunting (Nat'l Football Post) Draftnik Roundtable: Breakind down the prospects of South Carolina WR Alshon Jeffery.
- Bucky Brooks (NFL.com) Cornerbacks, safeties at a premium with NFL's aerial explosion.
- Brian McIntyre (Football Outsiders) Under the Cap: AFC East Cap overview.
- Peter King (SI) MMQB - Tuesday edition.
- Richard Deitsch (SI) Jon Gruden, Ron Jaworski lead media power list.
- Michael Silver (GQ) The year of magical stinking: An oral history of Tebow Time.