Friday, February 24, 2012
Combine quick hits, prospects II
By Mike Reiss
INDIANAPOLIS -- Keeping an eye on some prospects, from this perspective, who might be a good fit for the Patriots:
Wisconsin center Peter Konz at the NFL combine
1. Wisconsin center Peter Konz. The projected first-round pick said he measured at 6-foot-5 and weighed 314 pounds. His total of 18 reps on the bench press raised the eyebrows of some analysts (a lower total than expected), but Konz said it was about what he expected. It will be interesting to monitor if that affects his potential draft standing. As for his background, Konz was a tackle who was moved inside after a series of injuries to some of the Badgers' centers. He embraced the change. "I love it, it's awesome," he said. "I love having the ability to make the calls, to make the adjustments, to be that center guy and to be able to communicate with everybody and get everything going on the right track."
2. Florida running back/receiver Chris Rainey. Perhaps the fastest player in the draft, the 5-foot-8, 180-pound Rainey said he's shooting for a 4.1 time in the 40-yard dash at the combine. "I'm going for the big one," he said. Rainey also was preparing to meet with Patriots coach Bill Belichick here at the combine. "My agent has been talking to me about him, so he's ready to interview me. I'll be ready," Rainey said. When it comes to adding more speed and dynamic play to the Patriots' offense and special teams, Rainey could fit the bill in the early to mid rounds.
3. Florida International receiver T.Y. Hilton. The 5-foot-9, 193-pound Hilton won't run at the combine (quad injury), as he put himself at 80 percent health. He expects to be fully healthy for his Pro Day on March 9, and plans to run at that time. Like Rainey, Hilton is a smaller target, but he's fast and versatile. Hilton said he compares his style of play to Eagles receiver DeSean Jackson, and that he has a chip on his shoulder because he is coming from a smaller school. He's a mid-round projection by some analysts.
4. Baylor receiver Kendall Wright. He is not projected to be on the board when the Patriots are scheduled to pick, but should be slide, the Patriots could be enticed with his speed. Wright has envisioned himself in the Patriots' attack, saying, "I think I can fit in and run some of the same stuff like Wes Welker." While Wright doesn't have the size of some of the other receivers in this draft (5-10, 194), he is not necessarily projected as solely a slot option. On comparisons to the Eagles' DeSean Jackson, Wright talked about being explosive. "That’s why I like his game, him and Steve Smith, they play fearless and explosive at all times," he said.