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Patriots.com News Blitz - 4/5/2013
Field Yates of ESPNBoston.com writes that ESPN draft expert Mel Kiper has tabbed Tennessee WR Justin Hunter and LSU CB Tyrann "Honey Badger" Mathieu as the Patriots first and second round picks in his latest mock draft.
"In Round 2, Kiper believes the Patriots could take a chance on former LSU defensive back Tyrann Mathieu, who was dismissed from the Tigers before the 2012 season and did not play football last year," writes Yates. "In 2011, Mathieu was a Heisman Trophy finalist after finishing with 77 tackles, five forced fumbles, two interceptions and four total touchdowns."
According to reports, Mathieu will have a pre-draft visit to Gillette Stadium today.
Zuri Berry of The Boston Globe takes a look at some of the college players who are scheduled to make pre-draft visits Foxbrough. Two notable names include Mathieu and South Carolina RB Marcus Lattimore.
"The two fall into very specific categories for the Patriots to warrant closer looks: health and personality issues that require a more thorough examination," writes Berry. "Also consider that Chandler Jones (2012) and Nate Solder (2011) did not visit the Patriots during this period as well. However, what these visits do suggest is positions in which the team is showing the most interest."
"The 39-year-old, who hasn't caught an NFL pass since injuring his knee in 2010, does want to continue playing in the league and has had weekly discussions with teams, but there hasn't been anything with the Pats at this point," adds Howe.
Gregg Rosenthal of NFL.com says it wouldn't be a surprise if the Patriots find a way to find extra selections in this year's NFL Draft. Currently, the Patriots have picks in the first three rounds, but nothing in rounds four through six.
"This is not the easiest 53-man roster to make in the NFL, but the Patriots still have some big roster holes. Belichick usually prefers to have more swings at the plate, create a lot of competition and see who sticks," writes Rosenthal. "That strategy makes more sense than ever in this deep draft, which doesn't feature much top-tier talent."