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3 Pre-draft visits with Patriots focus on defensive backfield

Mike Reiss is reporting three prospects making pre-draft visits to Foxboro (in addition to Connor Barwin):

With Harrison an unrestricted free agent, the Patriots could be looking for another option, and they plan to host three highly touted prospects on predraft visits at Gillette Stadium - Patrick Chung (Oregon), William Moore (Missouri), and Louis Delmas (Western Michigan) - according to NFL sources.

All three safeties are projected to be selected in the first two rounds.

Chung (5 feet 11 inches, 207 pounds) is one of the most experienced players in the draft class, with 51 career starts. He is considered a sure tackler, totaling 92 last season after amassing 117 in 2007.

Moore, who has NFL size (6-1, 230), had his best season in 2007 when he was credited with 115 tackles and eight interceptions. Last season, he finished with 70 tackles and one interception.

Delmas (6-0, 202) was a four-year starter, playing in 45 games and totaling a career-high 111 tackles last season. He had 12 interceptions.

I could be reading too much into this, but it "may" indicate Rodney Harrison is ready to retire.  If Rodney's not, it's a strong signal to him.  Approaching his 16th year in the league and having suffered a season ending injury in 2008, it's time to turn the motor off and hang the helmet up.  I don't envy him that task nor do I care to see him out of the picture.  However, Belichick and the front office are running a business and will do what's best for the club.

Aside from the Rodney Harrison issue, this will create some competition at the safety position.  Brandon Meriweather, the young, experienced buck of the safety group is a lock as a starter.  James Sanders is also back and Tank Williams appears to be healed.  I was HUGE on Tank in 2008 and disappointed to see him knocked out for the season.  A hybrid safety/linebacker, he projected to be "lurker" of the group, prowling the backfield during obvious passing situations.

[NOTE - the player links within the quote above go to SBNation's Mocking the Draft where you'll find a mock draft I'm participating in and scouting reports for just about every college prospect out there.  Great stuff.]