<
>

Quick hits from combine, prospects

INDIANAPOLIS -- Getting a feel for some of the players of interest, from this perspective, for the Patriots:

1. Arkansas receiver Joe Adams. This is a player I wanted to hear at the combine because I think he'd fit well in the team's offense (projected 2nd/3rd round). He handled himself well on the interview podium. Adams measured in here at 5-foot-11, 179 pounds, so he's not a bigger receiver but he's fast. He said he plans to run 4.2 in the 40-yard dash. "I'd love playing for the Patriots," he said, noting that the concepts of Arkansas pro-style offense are similar to the Patriots' attack. "They throw the ball a lot in their offense like we did in my offense." Adams said that some people compare him to Wes Welker, while also pointing out he plays outside receiver in addition to the slot. Adams keeps in touch with former teammate Ryan Mallett. "He loves it," Adams said of Mallett. "He's just ready to have his chance there to play. But right now he's sitting behind Tom Brady, so you might as well be patient."

2. Notre Dame receiver Michael Floyd. Measuring at 6-foot-2 and 220 pounds, Floyd is at the opposite end of the receiver spectrum in terms of size. "I really like the big frame I am. I'm comfortable at this height and weight and feel I can run very well," said Floyd, who is projected as a possible first-round pick. Floyd was asked which big receivers he'd compare himself to and picked Larry Fitzgerald, Calvin Johnson and Andre Johnson as his favorite. Naturally, Floyd was asked about some of his off-field trouble. "Just immaturity," he explained. "People all the time have mistakes like this. Unfortunately it happened to me on a big stage going across the nation. It's about moving forward."

3. Michigan State quarterback Kirk Cousins. Similar to Greg McElroy last year, Cousins had a great command with the media. Listening to him, I got the sense that he'll interview very well with teams. The Patriots had success in signing Brian Hoyer as a rookie free agent out of Michigan State in 2009, and with Hoyer set to enter restricted free agency in 2012 and possibly departing in 2013, perhaps they consider Cousins in the middle rounds with an eye on development. Cousins keeps in touch with Hoyer, telling the story of how Hoyer texted him before the annual Michigan/Michigan State game this year and told him he had to lead the Spartans to victory so he could make Tom Brady wear Michigan State colors the following week.