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News Blitz 5/2: Dustin Keller leaves Patriots visit without a deal, per sources

Posted May 2, 2014

The Patriots.com News Blitz gets you up-to-date on the latest Patriots news from local and national media.

Jeff Howe of the Boston Herald reports that free agent TE Dustin Keller left Foxborough without a contract after visiting with the Patriots on Wednesday, according to sources.

"Rob Gronkowski said Tuesday it was too early to know if he will be ready for Week 1 after tearing his ACL in December," adds Howe. "Michael Hoomanawanui and D.J. Williams are the only other tight ends on the roster, and the Patriots are expected to spend an early draft pick at the position next week." READ MORE>>

Mike Reiss of ESPNBoston.com calls Washington State safety Deone Bucannon a perfect Patriot, with the biggest likelihood of the team drafting him in a trade-back scenario into the early to mid second round.

"Bucannon is one of the hardest hitting safeties in this year's draft and was one of the team's 30 in-house visits with out-of-town prospects," notes Reiss. "He is more of a 'box' safety, which the Patriots have gotten away from in recent years, but if the team is planning to play more press man with cornerbacks Darrelle Revis and Brandon Browner, and have safety Devin McCourty in more of a centerfield-type role, maybe there would be more of a willingness to take on such a player. Bucannon plays with an edge, is productive on special teams, and has been durable and reliable." READ MORE>>

Zuri Berry of Boston.com shares a slideshow listing the college quarterbacks he feels the Patriots might consider in this year's NFL draft. First on the list is Louisville's Teddy Bridgewater.

"Bridgewater is a frontrunner in the NFL draft, making all the media rounds. His tales are well known at Louisville (9,817 career yards, 72 touchdowns, 24 interceptions) where he finished the 2013 season as the top NFL quarterback prospect," writes Berry. "While more than just a strong arm and careful quarterback (4 interceptions in 2013), Bridgewater has instinctual qualities that have been praised despite uneven performances in pre-draft workouts. He’s 6-2, 214 pounds and has excellent footwork. His innate intangibles make up for any loss of a wow factor. But he has plenty of that, too." READ MORE>>

Christopher Jason of MassLive.com believes Georgia Southern RB Jerick McKinnon could be a steal for the Patriots in the middle-to-late rounds based on his versatility.

"McKinnon did it all at Georgia Southern, he ran the option at quarterback, played both running back spots in the option, lined up at fullback and even he played a little defensive back," writes Jason. "He impressed at the combine by running a 4.41 40-yard dash, posting a 40.5 inch vertical jump and benching 32 reps of 225 on the bench press. Although he stands at just 5-foot-9, he weighed in at 209 pounds and looks like a compact NFL running back with all of the tools to succeed." READ MORE>>

Phil Perry of CSNNE.com wonders whether or not Louisville QB Teddy Bridgewater will fall to the Patriots at pick No. 29 in the draft.

"Might the Patriots be willing to spend their first-round pick on a quarterback? From this perspective, there are enough needs at other positions -- and enough top-end talent at different positions in this draft class -- that New England would find better value going in a different direction," writes Perry.  READ MORE>>

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