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Saturday, May 7, 2011
Recapping draft picks & Gillette visits

By Mike Reiss

One of the more prevalent questions leading into the NFL draft was how significant a pre-draft visit to Gillette Stadium is when it comes to the Patriots drafting the player.

With this in mind, here is a recap of the team's picks, and if they visited the team before the draft (based on interviews):

1. OT Nate Solder -- Had his scheduled visit to Gillette Stadium canceled at the last minute. The canceled visit was likely a result of the Patriots not needing any more information, and perhaps not wanting to tip their hand. Offensive line coach Dante Scarnecchia worked him out the Monday before the draft.

2a. CB Ras-I Dowling -- Did not make a pre-draft visit.

2b. RB Shane Vereen -- Did not make a pre-draft visit, but noted that director of Player Personnel Nick Caserio put him through a private workout.

3a. RB Stevan Ridley -- Similar to Nate Solder, the team canceled his visit at the last moment.

3b. QB Ryan Mallett -- Quarterback visited the Patriots, breaking down film with Bill Belichick, a week before the draft.

5. OL Marcus Cannon -- Had a pre-draft workout with the team.

5b. TE Lee Smith -- Had a pre-draft workout with the team, and was visited by the Patriots at his Tennessee home.

6. OLB Markell Carter -- Had a pre-draft workout with the team.

7. DB Malcolm Williams -- Opened eyes with a strong performance at TCU's Pro Day.