A league source has told Patriots Insider that the Patriots have hosted a couple more draft prospects this week with more scheduled in the near future. The two most recent visitors to Foxborough are defensive back Tye Hill (Clemson) and defensive end Raymond Edwards (Purdue).
In a chat Tuesday night on PatriotsInsider.com, NFL Expert Adam Caplan reminded visitors that the Patriots were looking at a number of defensive backs, including Hill, as a possible solution to their defensive secondary woes. The Patriots have been one of the teams keeping an eye on Hill since the Senior Bowl and the NFL Combine where he turned in a very fast 4.38 in the 40.
The 5-foot-9.5, 185-pound Hill is rated as the top defensive back by scout.com. He was a leader of the Clemson defensive secondary, which faced a number of high-powered SEC offenses.
According to Scout.com Hill is listed as a durable and dependable player who shifted from running back to cornerback and became one of the best in the NCAA. He is also shown "keen instincts" with plenty of speed. ( Combine results )
Hill is also known to be drawing interest from plenty of other teams including the Browns, Rams and the Titans. Scout.com has been following Hill closely since his conversations with scouts at the 2006 Senior Bowl (link: Practice Reports).
The Boston Globe has confirmed Hill's visit with the team, reporting that he was at the facility recently.
|Clemson dB Tye Hill speaks with a member of the Cleveland Browns scouting department at the 2006 Senior Bowl practice sessions. (Photo: Roy Philpott / Scout.com)|
The other visitor to the Patriots facility is former Purdue defensive end Ray Edwards. The 6-foot-4.5, 273-pound Edwards reportedly had a visit set with the Seahawks but apparently did not make that happen as of Tuesday according to one source. It is unclear when his travel plans were arranged for his visit to Foxborough. The Globe reported that a visit has taken place Tuesday night. Patriots Insider was able to confirm that Edwards indeed met with the Patriots as one of their pre draft visits.
Edwards met with a number of teams at the combine, at least five according to his combine journal. His performance there drew interest as he turned in some of the better times among defensive ends invited to participate. (Combine results).
In his Draft Blog (link), Scout.com's Rob Curtis had this to say about Edwards:
Purdue DE Raymond Edwards is arguably the biggest enigma in this draft. He replaced All American DE, current SD Charger Shaun Phillips as a sophomore and looked like he would follow in his footsteps with 11 tackles for loss and 8 sacks. He has all the attributes you look for in a 4-3 DE. He is very athletic and can change direction. He turns the corner and has enough speed to chase the ball carrier down. Despite these skills, Ray Edwards needs a ton of work on his technique and his performance did not improve as a junior. He does not always locate the ball quickly and is wildly inconsistent. It will require a lot of patience, but he could develop into a fine player. He is a boom or bust type prospect who has great upside and downside.
Scout.com and TFY Draft Preview have Edwards ranked as the 11th best defensive end available in the Draft, just ahead of Syracuse's Ryan LaCasse. The Patriots scouting staff recently attended LaCasse's pro day as well. ( Full draft DE rankings )
Running back Michael Hart #20 of the University of Michigan Wolverines runs with the ball as Ray Edwards #10 and Bobby Iwuchukwu #39 of the Purdue University Boilermakers try to catch him in the second half of the game on October 23, 2004 at Ross-Ade Stadium in West Lafayette, Indiana. Michigan defeated Purdue 16-14.
(Photo by Robert Laberge/Getty Images)
Edwards is the third confirmed defensive end the team has met with. The others can be found here. ( Link ). Patriots Insider has confirmed the Patriots have another defensive back set to visit with them this week, according to one source. More on his visit can be found in the Insider's Lounge.
You can listen to a number of interviews with Tye Hill or other players by visiting their profile on Scout.com and clicking on the additional media links.