During his meeting with other members of the media Sunday afternoon at the Combine, NFL Network analyst Mike Mayock answered a couple questions with ties to the Patriots.
On how Florida State cornerback Xavier Rhodes would fit with the New England Patriots:
"I wasn't trying to link him [to New England]; somebody was trying to steer me that way and say, 'Would he fit?' I [said], 'Yeah.' New England has corner and safety potential issues that they have to address, and when you look at [Rhodes], he's a big corner that might be a safety. Bill Belichick values versatility. He's a big, strong, tough kid. Like most of the corners in this year's class, I don't know if he's going to run well or not. So Tuesday afternoon is a big deal for a lot of the top-rated corners because most of them are what college coaches call boundary corners; they play into the boundary. Typically a boundary corner in college football is speed-deficient but smart, tough and instinctive. I need to find out, as does the whole league, [Johnthan] Banks, [Rhodes], [Desmond] Trufant – how fast are these guys? We don't know yet."
On if anyone else has stood out to him that might fit with the New England Patriots:
"I don't look at it that way yet. To me, I'm looking at the kids and I'm not trying to fit them to teams. We're not even into free agency yet, so I don't really fit them that way at all at this point."
Mayock was also asked to compare Oklahoma tackle and Combine phenom Lane Johnson - a converted QB and TE - to Patriots 2011 first-round pick Nate Solder, himself a former tight end.
On if Lane Johnson is further along in his development than the New England Patriots' Nate Solder was:
"I like him better than Solder at this point, and Solder was a heck of a prospect."