2013 NFL Draft: Patriots Working out Receivers and Defensive Backs

DeAndre Hopkins Clemson

DeAndre Hopkins is drawing a lot of attention from the Patriots. (USA Today Sports Images)

NEPD Editor: James Christensen

The Patriots like to perform their “due diligence” on prospects in the NFL Draft. They rack up countless pro day visits, interviews, private workouts and official visits.

We try and keep track of them as good as we can – here are the draft contacts for 2013 and the ones from last year as well.

What trends are we seeing this year?

The Patriots certainly look to be scouting their need areas. Of the workouts, interviews and visits that we know of, defensive backs and wide receivers make up the majority of the 2013 NFL Draft Contacts so far.

This certainly stands to reason, as the Patriots have only Donald Jones, Danny Amendola and Michael Jenkins as receivers that have seen extended playing time in the NFL. The defensive backfield is a bit more set, but the uncertainty surrounding Ras-I Dowling and Alfonzo Dennard might prompt the Patriots to invest a high draft pick at corner.

Among the receivers that the Patriots have worked out, Stedman Bailey and Deandre Hopkins tend to stand out. Both of them run solid routes exhibit the hands needed to earn Tom Brady’s trust as a rookie. Hopkins figures to be a first round pick while Bailey will probably be a second or third round selection.

Bailey’s teammate, Tavon Austin, was also worked out by the Patriots, but he figures to be long gone by the time the Patriots are picking on draft night.

One later round option that the Patriots have looked at is Iowa receiver Keenan Davis. He has a lot of physical tools and can make some unreal catches, but a poor senior campaign and some concentration issues will push him down draft boards.

As for the defensive backs, Tyrann Mathieu certainly stands out.

I’m sure that all NFL teams will want to conduct their own exhaustive background check on Mathieu, but I’m just going to talk about his play on the field.

Mathieu is small. He doesn’t have great speed. He gets exposed down the field. I’d still want him on my team if I were an NFL coach. If you put him in a position to succeed and hide his shortcomings – something that Bill Belichick excels at – he can really impact the game. Either on special teams or with an impact play from the slot corner position, Mathieu sways the outcome of games with turnovers and huge returns.

Another trend that I’m seeing and not sure what to make of yet is that the Patriots are working out a lot of running backs. With Stevan Ridley, Shane Vereen and Brandon Bolden on the roster – three players that impressed me in 2012 – I’m not quite sure what they are up to.

The Patriots certainly aren’t done with looking at prospects. Expect 20-25 more visits this month and countless private workouts. We’ll be here to cover as many as we can uncover.

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44 Responses to “2013 NFL Draft: Patriots Working out Receivers and Defensive Backs”

  1. J H TARBORO says:

    Brady and Amendola spotted at USC working out together via NFL Network

  2. J H TARBORO says:

    If the Patriots draft Stedman Bailey, De Andre Hopkins, or Robert Woods, Amendola could be fighting for a spot. just sayin!

    • Ryan says:

      No chance.

    • qazmlpgh says:


      • Ryan says:

        I don’t think Ammendola will be fighting for a roster spot at any point this year. That would make the Welker blunder look even worse!

    • AM says:

      I think Amendola is pretty safe. 🙂 But I like the idea of Hopkins as the outside complement. I’m also holding out slim hope that Keenan Allen falls to #29 (very slim).

    • J H TARBORO says:

      Hey Ryan i know this comment sounds very radical but i’m not thinking like a fan either, Amendola won’t be a Brady binky and our offense might look quite different, and i said it before, don’t sleep on the 3 recievers they retained from last year never mind who they draft, BB would not have those guys stick around if they sucked or didn’t have a chance of making the team. The chemistry between Brady and Welker took a few year to develop and Brady doesn’t have that kind of time, so it will be on Brady to develop timing with his new recievers even more, its been said Brady can throw to any reciever and make them look good, BB took away his crutch, can’t wait til camp starts, it’ll be interesting.

  3. bill ollar says:

    BB usally trades out of the 1st for a second this year and a first next year his not trading out the vfirst round one for a 3 and 4

  4. Ryan says:

    One thought comes to mind Jeremy Maclin. I read something that Chip was interested in moving him. He could be an interesting addition, and maybe come for a future pick as opposed to a third like Emmanuel Sanders.

    • Ryan says:

      Also, here are the people we drafted and the contact they had with them:
      Chandler Jones, Syracuse (I)
      No Contact with Donta Hightower
      Tavon Wilson, Illinois (PW, PD)
      No Contact with Jake Bequette
      No Contact Nate Ebner
      Alfonzo Dennard, Nebraska (PW)
      No Contact Jeremy Ebert

      And a similar thing happened in 2011, if you see your dream player on the list of contacts and they have had extensive contact. He isn’t most likely going to be a Patriot.

      • acm says:

        to an extent, I agree. One exception I would say is the DB position – there was contact with both DBs they drafted, especially with T.Wilson who they drafted well earlier than where most expected he would go.
        Lack of success in drafting DBs recently could explain why they felt they needed to have players in that position do a PW beforehand.

        I wouldn’t count Ebner as a DB as he was a taken mostly as a high-character STer and more of a project in any other aspect.

      • J H TARBORO says:

        the smoke screen or aka 52 fakeout

      • Russell Easterbrooks says:

        I also agree for the most part. Players with contact, are often for show, to NOT give-a-way players BB plans to draft. I think BB has targeted players, and watches the board for players that offer great value.
        Last year Alfonzo Dennard could have been drafted in the 5th round instead of Nate Ebner, (who most likely would have gone undrafted) .
        BUT Ebner was a targeted guy, and when Dennard was available in the 7th he was picked.
        I think Jake Bequette was good value, and is why he was picked, NOT because he was targeted.
        Travon Wilson was a targeted player, and drafted two rounds before he may have been picked.
        So BB buts on a show of very good players, THAT maybe of interest if the value is there, BUT NOT targeted guys in the draft.
        Does anyone remember when BB had Tim Tebow in for an intereview before the draft?

        • Ryan says:

          I guess my point is that this list gives us a good starting point as to whom they aren’t targeting. Therefore, a better of idea of not only whom they are targeting as well as what rounds they are looking for certain players in.

    • J H TARBORO says:

      no Sanders for a 3rd round pick, thats crazy!

      • Russell Easterbrooks says:

        It may not be a bad deal, IF Sanders contract is not to much money. But I don’t think it happens.

      • Ryan says:

        Well we wouldn’t even be talking about Sanders if the Patriots could in fact mold and develop a WR. Personally, I think he is a steal as a 3rd round pick. But with little or no picks in the draft I think its lesser of any option.

        I think Sanders could have more impact than Brown next year. I thought highly of him when he was drafted, and I had him pegged for the Patriots.

  5. Larry says:

    My shoe will get drafted before they draft an OL with their first pick……………If they draft a lineman with that first pick it will be a pass rusher…………..

    • Ryan says:

      Larry I would have previously said the same thing but here is something interesting. Logan Mankins is supposed to make 10 million this year. Say we draft a OG/OC we can cut Mankins who has been hurt the past three years. It frees up a lot of room to sign players in the next three years.

      • acm says:

        the dead money cap charge resulting from cutting Mankins would be huge – basically his entire salary for the year or close to it, iirc – so he would be sticking around for another 2 years at least.
        Plus the team needs his leadership on the OL, especially on the left with Solder and Wendell surrounding Mankins.

      • acm says:

        Also, the argument here is not that the Pats shouldn’t draft an OL-man at all this year, it’s just that they shouldn’t do it at the price of a 1st round pick.

        • Ryan says:

          I agree, so ACM, say they move back in the second. Gain a pick and take him early to mid second. How would you feel about that? Maybe gain a 5th or 4th in the process.

  6. Russell Easterbrooks says:

    I feel more than ever that OG/C Barrett Jones will be the Patriots 1st pick. The second choice is more difficult, if its DL then the 3d choice is CB. If the 2nd is CB , than 3d is a WR, or 2nd a WR and 3d a CB.
    I Like LB DaVonte Holloman but just don’t see him at 2nd or 3d.
    DL looks like Brandon Williams or Bennie Logan.
    CB could one of about 4 depending what the board looks like, and when we pick.
    I look for a guy like RB Theo Riddick , or RB Derrick Washington as a 7th pick.

    • acm says:

      I fully expect BB to have B. Jones on his mind but spending a 2st round pick on an OL-man would be a waste, all things considered. Even if BB intends to get one of Jones or Winters for the OLine with an early pick, they both should be available in early to mid 2nd round after trading out of the 1st.

      While I think BB can make an exception for B Jones, I still think there is good talent on the roster already for the OLine, which makes it less likely he would go for an OL-man with an early pick, let alone a 2st rounder. Furthermore, there is good talent available in later rounds too not to mention UDFAs galore.

      IMO, BB would consider two players in the 1st round, possibly 3, depending on how this 3rd one clears medically – Daytone jones, Jesse Williams, and Tank Carradine.
      For any other position of bigger or lesser need – OLine, CBs, WR, cover LB, even RB and TE, I think he trades out of the 1st as all those positions are pretty deep talent-wise in later rounds.

      For some reason I have the weird feeling he might also consider Eifert or Ertz in the 1st – with Gronk being unable to finish 2 seasons in row and that affecting the team tremendously – but that’s more of a pinch in the gut than an expectation, tbh.

      • acm says:

        * that would be “spending a 1st round pick” regarding B Jones.

      • cc says:

        Gronk keeps it up this year, he better be looking at restructuring his deal.

      • Russell Easterbrooks says:

        I disagree, OG is the oldest part of the team. Mankins starting his 9th year, Connolly starting his 8th year. Both missed time last year. A guy like Barrett Jones is a solid value choice, to back-up the starters,at OG and C , AND be the future starter at OG/C for 8+ years.
        With Jesse Williams, and Datone Jones being most likely off the board, and Barrettt Jones has slipped out of the 1st round in most Mocks, is suddenly a great value at #29. Weather BB could trade back AND still Get Barrett Jones is a gamble.

        • acm says:

          I am not sure how Jones’ falling stock – with his injury, likely out of the top 45-50 picks already – makes him a great value at 29.

          Trading back to somewhere around 42-45 pick range would position the Pats for not just getting a better value out Jones but Winters too, who’s just as good or even better OG and shouldn’t have a problem becoming a proper OC too … and he has more experience at OT than Jones too, iirc.

          The value of that 1st round pick is even higher this year, so I wouldn’t expect BB to reach for it – just because he’s done this in previous years doesn’t mean he would do it his year as well when he has the fewest picks as a Pats HC.
          I expect only top talent in positions of great necessity to be drafted at 29 but most likely, no one and BB trades out of the 1st.

          Also, OL-man would hardly be deemed to be ready to start this year anyway. And I am not sure B. Jones won’t have to go on the PUP list for a good part of the season too.
          SOne shouldn’t underestimate the OL talent that’s already on the roster and have been training for awhile under the BB regime – doubt a rookie would just come in and get to front of the pecking order.
          All in all, a quality OL would be nice but it’s not the year to spend a 1st rounder, imo, when you just as well may get one later on.

  7. AM says:

    The preoccupation with Mathieu continues to surprise me. He is small, slow, and has enormous character concerns. He plays without discipline, and strikes me as exactly the kind of player suited much more for the college game than the NFL.

    The Patriots seem sold on Kyle Arrington as a slot corner–what they need from the draft is a solid, all-around CB who has the strength and speed to play on the outside. Robert Alford, Jordan Poyer, or jamar Taylor would be much better options in the Round Two-Round Three range.

    • Russell Easterbrooks says:

      I agree I would not Touch Mathieu, there are just to many other great options. I like Jordan Poyer, Blidi Wreh-Wilson, and Micah Hyde, MUCH better than Mathieu.
      As far as WR I feel BB will look at a guy in the 3d round like, Mark Harrison, or Conner Vernon.

    • acm says:

      same here. In any other year with the Pats stacked with draft picks, I wouldn’t have minded Mathieu somewhere in 4th or 5th round but not this year, not with him looking more and more likely to go as early as late 2nd and more likely first half of the 3rd.

      i think all this public romance they are having with him is little more than a decoy.

    • cc says:

      They need a CB who can cover man2man tight and who’s not a penalty magnet. There’s way too much Zone fluff on this team!

      • Ryan says:

        Agreed CC, they need to fix these reoccurring holes on our team. We can’t continue to draft DB/CB’s and/or WR’s high.

  8. JV says:

    They clearly have a need a WR but it hasnt gone so well on the drafting wrs front for the Pats. I wouldnt be shocked to see the first pick a wr but I will crossing my fingers it works out.

    Same can be said for drafting dbs. They are still trying to find Asante Samuels replacement.

    • Jim R says:

      JV Valid points. We look at what the needs appear to be. It would make all the sense in the world if they drafted a Wr,DB and DL with the first 3 picks. The guy calling the shots usually leaves us scratching our heads with how he drafts. That being said I believe he will draft OL, RB LB

      • Russell Easterbrooks says:

        I like your thinking! I to feel like OL (Barrett Jones) 1st, DL (Brandon Williams or Berbbie Logan) 2nd and CB Micah Hyde 3d, with the two 7th’s being a RB Theo Riddick, and a WR

        • sco508 says:

          SIGH !! I can only thank my lucky stars that Non of you are getting paid for your comments !! !st Barrett Jones is going to start the year on the PUP list why would we Blow a 1st rd pick on some one who can’t even play ? Unless ofcourse it’s Marcus Lattimore and he will be in the late 3rd .

          Not the 1st God knows who the Hooded One will pick but I’ll bet the Fact that i will never Ever Ever comment on another post we will not be taking Barrett Jones with the 29th pick of the 2013 Draft ! More Realistic is a Trade Down out of the 1st for an early 3rd and early 4th this year but i guess we shall see huh ?

        • cc says:

          B. Jones in the 1st would be complete insanity.
          & I could see trading out of the 1st, but not for anything less than a better 2nd rounder NOW & a decent next year.

          Lots of QB movement lately, I’m looking forward to Mallet being moved and acquiring Jermaine Cunningham s replacement with the pick we can get for moving him.

        • qazmlpgh says:

          Barrett Jones may end up being a good player but in no way is he a 1st round pick. The only interior o-linemen picked in the 1st round are the top of the line guys like Mankins, Warmack, Cooper, Pounceys, etc. Jones can be had in the 3rd/4th. Given the way the Pats churn out competent o-linemen year after year it makes no sense to use a 1st on an average prospect like Jones.

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