The following groups of players came on Day 1 to the NFL Combine:
Special Teamers [Long Snappers]
Let's look at a couple players to watch for after the jump.Offensive Tackles: The Patriots are pretty well off with left tackle Matt Light coming off one of his best seasons as a Patriot, in addition to three young studs in Sebastian Vollmer, Nate Solder, and Marcus Cannon. The Patriots most likely will not be on the market for an elite tackle in the draft, but they may look at a late round flier to put on the practice squad.
One to Watch: Matt Kalil, USC, OL #24 - Kalil is one highest rated tackle in the draft and is expected to be one of the best tackles in recent drafts. He'll be gone in the top 5 picks.
One to Rise: Mike Adams, Ohio State, OL #01 - Adams stunned people with a stellar Senior Bowl and could continue to rise with an impressive combine showing.
One to Sleep: Cordy Glenn, Georgia, OL #18 - Glenn is expected to move to guard in the NFL, but is listed as a tackle at the combine. He has incredible size and build and looks to be a mauler at the next level.
Offensive Guards: The Patriots have Logan Mankins locked up at left guard, but he's coming off one of his worst seasons in recent memory. On the other side of the ball is veteran Brian Waters who could be retiring. Beyond those two, the Patriots have potential in sliding over Cannon, and also have Nick McDonald, Donald Thomas, and Ryan Wendell. None of those players are assured studs so don't be surprised if the Patriots take a guard to shore up their interior offensive line.
One to Watch: David DeCastro, Stanford, OL #14 - DeCastro is regarded as one of the safest picks in the entire draft and, if guard was a sexier position, he could go in the top 10. There will be plenty of scrutiny as teams watch closely.
One to Rise: Kevin Zeitler, Wisconsin, OL #54 - Zeitler is another in a long line of mauling Wisconsin offensive linemen. He wants to show his versatility by playing some Center; Zeitler has a lot to gain from a solid combine.
One to Sleep: Quentin Saulsberry, Mississippi State, OL #44 - Saulsberry is a grinder who was able to hold his own against top prospects like LSU's Michael Brockers. Don't be surprised if people react positively to his play.
Center: The Patriots are in serious need of a center. Dan Connolly was rated 31/34 by Pro Football Focus in terms of Pass Blocking Efficiency as teams were able to generate plenty of pressure up the middle. Dan Koppen is a free agent and is coming off of a season ending injury. Behind those two are Wendell and McDonald who, while showing promise, are not dominant forces in the middle. Look for the Patriots to take a stud to handle opposing nose tackles.
One to Watch: Peter Konz, Wisconsin, OL #26 - Konz is the highest rated center in the draft and is a complete grinder. He's strong and is physical. Think of Logan Mankins, but at center.
One to Rise: Ben Jones, Georgia, OL #22 - Jones is my favorite, but he's an experienced line-caller and is able to go toe-to-toe with the best of defensive lines. Look for him to gain more recognition this week.
One to Sleep: Michael Brewster, Ohio State, OL #08 - Brewester was the top rated center entering the season, but he dropped due to inconsistencies. He needs to have a great combine to win back some fans.
Tight End: The Patriots lost Rob Gronkowski right before the Super Bowl and they were unable to recover. Don't be surprised if the Patriots pack on an additional weapon at the tight end spot as extra security, especially if a stud tight end slides a la Aaron Hernandez.
One to Watch: Orson Charles, Georgia, TE #02 - Charles is supposedly as athletic as Hernandez, while a better blocker. He's a less polished route runner, but he can rise up the ranks with an impressive combine performance.
One to Rise: Ladarius Green, Louisiana-Lafayette, TE #06 - At 6-6, 240, Green can present a huge mismatch for defenses. He played in a weaker conference, so a strong performance could increase is stock.
One to Sleep: Michael Egnew, Missouri, TE #04 - Egnew is a solid route runner with great size (6-5, 250 lbs). He seems limited as an athlete, so a strong combine would help his stock tremendously.
Any prospects interest you?