Scout.com's Ed Thompson shares what he's been hearing from his NFL sources regarding draft prospect…
Crumpler A Patriot?
After Ben Watson and Chris Baker signed elsewhere, the hunt to add veteran depth to the Patriots TE group became a matter of urgency. The search for a replacement involved Daniel Fells, who met with the Patriots but opted to re-sign in St. Louis, and Crumpler.
By agreeing to terms with Crumpler, New England would bring aboard one of the NFL's bigger body type TE's who could help anchor an offensive line that struggled at times to protect Tom Brady.
Baker, once thought of as a good combination of blocker and receiver, hadn't fulfilled the role the team envisioned in him when they signed him as a free agent last fall. His one season in New England was marked with inconsistency. After a promising camp and preseason, Baker virtually disappeared during the team's regular season. The team opted to release him from a multi-year deal rather than attempt to iron out those inconsistencies.
Watson, an incredible athlete and genuine good guy, received better offers from both the Seahawks and the Browns, eventually choosing to join the rebuilding project in Cleveland. Watson's freakish athleticism will be appreciated by the Browns who never fully rebounded after trading away talented, but hot headed Kellen Winslow to the Buccaneers.
New England still has a need at tight end even after the Crumpler deal becomes finalized. They are expected to target one in the NFL Draft. The team recently worked out BYU's Dennis Pitta and Florida's Aaron Hernandez. It's believed that they've met with, or will workout each of the top TE's in the Draft. One sleeper to keep an eye on is Pittsburgh's Dorin Dickerson, who also has freakish athletic ability, running a 4.4 time in the 40. Though Dickerson may be undersized (6-2, 226), he could fit the role of H-Back, a position the Patriots tried to fill previously with Garrett Mills, Heath Evans and then Watson.
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