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Day 3 Patriots Combine wrap-up

2/26/2011

INDIANAPOLIS -- Some wrap-up thoughts, with a Patriots twist, from Day 3 at the NFL Combine:

Keep Romeus on the radar. The Patriots hit a home run in 1995 when they rolled the dice on a running back with a knee injury at the University of Pittsburgh. Yeah, that Curtis Martin guy turned out to be pretty good after he was picked in the third round. Maybe they try it again on the other side of the ball this year with Pittsburgh outside linebacker Greg Romeus (6-4, 264), who was limited to two games in 2010 because of injuries (knee/back) and is viewed as a mid-round pick by analysts at this point. Romeus totaled 19.5 sacks in his first three seasons and when he walked into the media center, he certainly looked the part. "My strength is pass rushing, I love to pass rush. I have a long body and I'm aggressive," he said. One other factor to keep in mind with Romeus: His coach at Pittsburgh, Dave Wannstedt, is now with the Buffalo Bills.

Iowa's Clayborn doesn't look like target. While speaking with prospects, sometimes they say things that highlight why they might not be a good fit with a team. Such was the case with Iowa defensive end Adrian Clayborn with the Patriots. One example: While Cal defensive end Cameron Jordan talked about the possibility of playing anywhere on defense, Clayborn limited himself to playing defensive end, saying NFL teams would only be joking if they asked him about lining up at outside linebacker in the 3-4 defense.

A day for Cam's. While quarterback Cam Newton's news conference was the national story of the day, a pair of other Cam's -- Ohio State's Cameron Heyward and California's Cameron Jordan -- caught the attention from a Patriots perspective. Based on interviews, I expect to hear more from both prospects leading up to the draft, and would be surprised if Heyward isn't one of the team's pre-draft visits for a re-check on his injured elbow.

Deep draft at DE/OLB. One theme that continued to be highlighted by personnel men was how this draft is deep when it comes to pass rushers and defensive linemen, which is good news for the Patriots. Chiefs general manager Scott Pioli was the latest to add his thoughts on that area. "Some of these guys are defensive ends in a 4-3 or they're outside linebackers in a 3-4, but this is a strong class," he said. The key, as it always is, will be for teams to decipher which plays fit which scheme the best.