The Patriots will host North Carolina defensive tackle Cam Thomas on a pre-draft visit at Gillette Stadium, according to Aaron Wilson of the National Football Post.
Thomas is projected as a second-round draft choice and is one of the bigger defensive linemen in the draft (6-foot-4, 330 pounds). The Patriots have three picks in the second round.
Patriots coach Bill Belichick has made the point in the past that big, athetic defensive linemen are hard to find, and that's why they are often selected early in the draft. The Patriots have had success going that route in the draft, with Richard Seymour (No. 6, 2001), Ty Warren (No. 13, 2003) and Vince Wilfork (No. 21, 2004).
Their most recent high pick at the position -- Boston College's Ron Brace (No. 40, 2009) -- remains a work in progress.
One of the Patriots' more pressing needs is at right defensive end, the spot primarily occupied by Seymour from 2001-2008. Jarvis Green was the starter there in 2009, but he signed with the Denver Broncos as a free agent this offseason.
If the Patriots are in position to select Thomas, he could be a candidate to vie for that type of role.