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Friday, February 25, 2011
Patriots & offensive line prospects

By Mike Reiss

INDIANAPOLIS -- The first day of the NFL Combine is in the books and when it comes to evaluating prospects, the focus was on the top offensive linemen.

The Patriots' need in this area, and some of the top prospects, are highlighted in a piece now posted on ESPNBoston.com.

One trend at the position was highlighted when Steelers director of football operations Kevin Colbert explained his belief for why more top offensive tackles have been in the draft in recent years. As more college programs have adopted spread offenses, it has helped young offensive linemen develop quicker, Colbert said.

The Patriots had one of the NFL's older offensive lines in 2010. The team has drafted just one offensive lineman in the first three rounds of the draft over the last five years, so this is an area in which the spotlight is shined a bit brighter for the Patriots.

The offensive theme continues today, with quarterbacks, receivers and running backs coming to the media center.