Just three days out from the 2008 NFL Draft, and it's starting to look like Ohio State DE/OLB Vernon Gholston could fall right into the Patriots laps at the seventh pick.
Some new mock drafts are predicting that he'll be available when New England makes its first-round selection on Saturday afternoon. If that happens, Gholston will already have a solid relationship with one of his new pro teammates.
Patriots linebacker and former Buckeye Mike Vrabel often returns to the Columbus campus in the offseason to work out with Gholston and other Ohio State players.
"He comes back a lot of times in the summertime for conditioning for the season," Gholston said recently, "so I get a chance to compete with him and some of the other veterans. Sometimes I beat him and sometimes he beats me."
Even if they do get Gholston, one local sports writer wants New England to pursue one established veteran pass-rusher in particular.
"Jason Taylor is just what the doctor ordered for the Patriots – a hungry, ridiculously talented veteran who would view a detour onto Route 1 as a late-career salvation," the author explains in today's Patriot Ledger.
"That worked out pretty well for Rodney Harrison, Corey Dillon, Junior Seau and Moss, right? Taylor needs the Patriots (or a franchise like them), and the Patriots need him (or someone just like him) right back. Their offense, with Moss in the fold again, looks all set.
"Defensively, they could use some tweaking. I'd say a 6-6, 255-pound guy who can match tight ends and running backs step for step in coverage, set a sturdy edge in run defense and bag you 10-plus sacks in his sleep would be quite a catch."
Meanwhile, with Seattle having cut their long-time star running back, Shaun Alexander, he's now being rumored to be in the Patriots' crosshairs.
"I will be playing for another NFL team this fall, and doing everything I can to contribute," Alexander told reporters this week. "I am healthy, energized and looking forward to beginning the next chapter of my NFL career."