"Jordan sticks out the most. He has been heavily considered to be a top-five pick, either at No. 2 to the Jaguars or No. 4 to the Eagles," writes Howe. "He's an edge rusher with coverage ability, and his athleticism is off the charts. The Patriots would have to make a huge move to target Jordan, so their decision to host him to gain more information is intriguing."
Howe adds that Carradine, Trufant and Fluker are also considered to be late-first-round prospects.
Nick Underhill of MassLive.com reports that the Patriots have recently worked out three players from the University of Kansas. The trio includes DE Toben Opurum, QB Dayne Crist, and FS Bradley McDougald -- all of which played under former Patriots Offensive Coordinator and current Jayhawks Head Coach Charlie Weis last season.
"McDougald (6-0, 211 pounds) was invited to the combine, where he ran a 4.74 40-yard dash. He finished his college career with seven interceptions, 10 tackles for a loss and two sacks," adds Underhill.
Greg Rosenthal of NFL.com looks at the top remaining players available in free agency. Both Dwight Freeney and Brandon Lloyd are mentioned as options for the Patriots.
On DE Dwight Freeney, Rosenthal writes, "The New England Patriots could sign him in an Adam Vinatieri-in-reverse type of move. The Denver Broncos are interested as well." He notes that Brandon Lloyd has a solid chance of returning to New England.
Here is Walker's analysis on Florida State's Xavier Rhodes:
"This would be a great value pick for New England. Rhodes is projected by many to be a top-20 pick, and could go as high as No. 12 to the Miami Dolphins. But the Patriots could jump on Rhodes if he falls into their lap at No. 29. Rhodes somewhat reminds me of
Don Banks of Sports Illustrated gives an interesting look at Florida State's Tank Carradine, who according to reports is scheduled to visit with the Patriots in the coming days. Carradine had 11 sacks in 11 games last season for the Seminoles before tearing his ACL.
"Projected to come off the board somewhere in the range of No. 25 to 45, Carradine is in the process of making a flurry of team visits while still preparing for an April 20 private workout that he hopes puts the label of "damaged goods" to rest," writes Banks. "All indications are that his knee rehab is almost a month ahead of schedule, and his stock as a pass-rushing 4-3 defensive end or 3-4 outside linebacker prospect is on the rise. His goal is to ensure both those trend lines continue, and that teams that pass on him wind up paying for it."