In each of the 10 days leading up to the NFL draft, ESPNBoston.com will identify one player who projects as a solid fit for the Patriots at various points of the draft. Read all of the profiles.
Player: Scott Long
Position: Wide receiver
Listed height/weight: 6-foot-2 1/8, 216 pounds
Scouts Inc. rank: No. 23 at receiver (scouting report)
Draft projection: Mid-to-late rounds
Why he’s on our list: After agreeing to a one-year contract with veteran Torry Holt on Tuesday, the Patriots might now wait until later in the draft to pick a receiver. Long could be a sleeper-type, as he adds value as a blocker.
Recommended link: Chuck Carree writes a column in the Wilmington Star which details his thoughts as he watched Long, the hometown kid from Southport, N.C., excel at the NFL combine.
Key stat: Totaled 53 receptions for 727 yards and two touchdowns last season.
Workout stat: Led all receivers at the combine with 20 repetitions on the 225-pound bench press, and a 6.45 in the three-cone drill which helps assess change of direction.
Steve Muench of Scouts Inc.: “Long missed the first four games of the season after breaking a bone in his right foot and the final four games of the season after tearing the ACL in his right knee in 2008. He tore the ACL in his left knee in high school. He also turns 24 in October so he’s on the older side for a prospect. In terms of his play, Long doesn’t show great burst out of his cuts and is going to have a difficult time separating from man coverage until his route running improves. On the other hand, there’s a lot to like about his upside. He turned in an outstanding workout at the combine and some feel that the knee injury played a big role in him not appearing less explosive on film last year. The durability concerns could cause the Patriots to look elsewhere but he would be an excellent value if they can get him in the fifth. While they don’t have a fifth-round pick, we’ve talked about how much they like to move around.”