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Quick Kicks: Building off the Combine

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Based solely on their positive interview performances at the Scouting Combine, here's a list of just some of the players I'm anxious to see play (in no particular order). The names, you'll notice, are, for the most part, at positions of need for New England and those who will likely be available when/if the Patriots use all four of their picks in the first two rounds:

Kirk Cousins, QB, Michigan State: Replaced Brian Hoyer at East Lansing and had an outstanding Spartan career.

Doug Martin, RB, Boise State: Told me he likes to compare his game to that of Ray Rice. For his sake, I hope that comparison is favorable.

Rueben Randle, WR, LSU: Curious to see if he can be the next Dwayne Bowe. Or better.

Orson Charles, TE, Georgia: The Patriots have re-defined what it means to be a tight end in the NFL. Maybe that continues with Charles.

Jonathan Martin, OT, Stanford: A red-shirt junior who started all but two games in his Cardinal career, protecting Andrew Luck.

Melvin Ingram, DE, South Carolina: His numbers say he can get to the QB. "Cheap" sacks, or legit? Can't wait to find out.

Whitney Mercilus, DE, Illinois: One-year wonder? So far, but so was Super Bowl winner Jason Pierre-Paul.

Kendall Reyes, DT, UConn: Local kid (NH native), grew up a Patriots fan.

Dont'a Hightower, ILB, Alabama: Pipeline guy with great size.

Cam Johnson, DE, Virginia: See Hightower, plus has get-to-the-QB numbers and scheme versatility.

Andre Branch, OLB, Clemson: Said he could do it all — 3-4, 4-3, you name it. Well, we'll see.

Trumaine Johnson, CB, Montana: Excellent size, questionable competition.

Ryan Steed, CB, Furman: A former hoops star who chose football. Played against lesser competition, too, on the gridiron.

Harrison Smith, S, Notre Dame: Just looking for another guy named Harrison to play safety for New England.

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