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News Blitz 4/18: Rising RB prospect Devonta Freeman visited Patriots

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Aaron Wilson of National Football Post reports that Florida State RB Devonta Freeman recently visited with the Patriots as the team continues to prepare for next month's NFL draft. Wilson notes that Freeman is regarded as rising prospect projected to be selected anywhere from the second to fourth round.

"Freeman rushed for 1,016 yards last season for the Seminoles' national championship squad on 173 carries, scoring 15 touchdowns with a career-high 22 receptions for 278 receiving yards," adds Wilson. "He was the first Seminoles running back since Warrick Dunn to rush for over 1,000 yards." READ MORE>>

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Mike Reiss](http://espn.go.com/blog/boston/new-england-patriots/post/_/id/4761632/beyond-the-1st-round-quarterback) of ESPNBoston.com takes a look at quarterback options for the Patriots beyond the first round and tabs Miami's Stephen Morris as a potential fourth round fit.

"The 6-foot-1 7/8, 213-pound Morris is shorter than teams would probably prefer, and could be viewed as a challenging evaluation in that he played under three coordinators over four years, thus affecting part of his development," writes Reiss. "He showed a knack for running the two-minute offense, is a two-time captain, and his hand size (10 1/4 inches) figures to appeal to the Patriots because gripping the ball in inclement weather often takes on added importance in New England." READ MORE>>

Jeff Howe of the Boston Herald shares his analysis of Oregon State WR Brandin Cooks and looks at why the Patriots would want the speedy slot receiver with their first pick in this year's draft.

"Cooks, who ran a 4.33-second 40-yard dash at the combine, could be the Pats' next-generation slot receiver if they aren't sold on the long-term potential of Danny Amendola after an injury-plagued first season with the team," writes Howe. "Cooks is shifty and, clearly, can produce in a spread system. Because of his athleticism, he has some ability to play taller than his frame, which could place him outside the numbers on occasion." READ MORE>>

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Nick Underhill](http://blog.masslive.com/patriots/2014/04/newenglandpatriotsamongtea.html) of MassLive.com reports that the Patriots have shown interest in Florida DT Dominique Easley throughout the pre-draft process, according to a source.

"Widely projected to be a second-round pick, Easley has also reportedly drawn interest from the Seattle Seahawks, Chicago Bears and San Francisco 49ers,' adds Underhill. "A source said that he has several visits lined up for next week." READ MORE>>

Tom E. Curran of CSNNE.com shares why the Patriots could look to draft Louisville QB Teddy Bridgewater.

"There is so much to like about Bridgewater in terms of production, leadership and attention to detail. If anyone thinks Bridgewater will be in a position to come into Gillette and challenge Tom Brady over the next four seasons for the starting job, they underestimate Brady," writes Curran. "Hence, spending a first-round pick would seem a fool's errand, even though the Patriots have visited with Bridgewater. If, however, the Patriots could trade out of the first and, through some twist of fate, take Bridgewater in the second and another pick to fill an immediate need like defensive line or offensive guard, that would be a solid play." READ MORE>>

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