Offense combine hit list for Pats

February, 29, 2012
Picking one player at each offensive position who made an impression at the NFL combine, and who appeared to have qualities the Patriots would value (considering various points of the draft):

Kirk Cousins (Michigan State) -- Great presence who came across as a Belichick-like "football guy" and was a three-year captain. Reminded me of Greg McElroy from the prior year.

Running back
Chris Rainey (Florida)
-- Speedy running back and returner from Florida says, "Special teams is my specialty and I love special teams. People don’t understand about special teams. It’s like 95 percent, if special teams is doing something, you win the game."

Wide receiver
Rueben Randle (LSU)
-- Came across as confident but polished in media interviews, didn't hurt himself in the 40 (4.55) and a 6.99 in the three-cone drill seemed solid for a 6-foot-2 7/8, 210-pound target. Possible late first-round option if available.

Tight end
Ladarius Green (Louisiana-Lafayette)
-- With only 14 tight ends at the combine, not a lot to choose from, but at 6-foot-5 1/2 and 238 pounds, the small-school prospect caught the eye with a 4.53 time in the 40.

Offensive line
Ben Jones (Georgia)
-- Center came across as a thinking man's type of player, and also has position flexibility to be a factor at guard. At 6-foot-2 1/2 and 305 pounds, he said he looked at the Colts' Jeff Saturday as the type of heady player he could emulate.

EXTRA POINT: Defensive players from the combine will be posted later today.

Mike Reiss

ESPN New England Patriots reporter



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