INDIANAPOLIS -- Keeping an eye on some prospects, from this perspective, who might be a good fit for the Patriots:
1. Considering if perception is reality with Rueben Randle. When things didn't go Randle's way on the field, he sometimes seemed to go in a funk, creating the perception of a player who could benefit from having a better attitude when things don't go his way. But LSU tight end DeAngelo Patterson, a late-round projection, spoke so glowingly of Randle that it makes one wonder if perception is reality. "Rueben, he’s a gifted athlete. He can run fast, he also catch the ball. When we’re at practice, I’ve never seen this guy drop balls. Our quarterback will throw the ball way in front of him and he’ll go run it down and go get it," Patterson said. "He’s a gifted athlete, an unbelievable guy off the field. Me and him used to stay in the same apartment complex, talked every night, and I just finished talking to him. That guy is just an unbelievable kid." Randle, who could be as high as a first-round pick, didn't come to the media center on Friday.
2. Arkansas receiver Jarius Wright. Razorbacks teammate Joe Adams was highlighted in this area yesterday, but Wright is also worthy of attention. He can fly. Like Adams, he is a smaller receiver at 5-foot-9, 182 pounds, but he doesn't think size is an issue. "I look at guys like DeSean Jackson, Steve Smith, Mike Wallace, shorter fast guy who play bigger than their size," he said, before adding one of his combine goals is: "I want them to know [I] can run routes, too [and] can change directions well also." Wright comes out of a pro-style offense, which in theory, should make his projection to the NFL a bit clearer.
3. After Taylor Price, would Patriots consider Stephen Hill? The scouting report on Georgia Tech receiver Stephen Hill sounds like exactly what the Patriots need -- great length (6-5), and a leaper who is a deep-ball threat. But Hill played in an option offense, like 2010 third-round pick Taylor Price, and that only makes a potential jump to the Patriots that much greater. Naturally, teams asked him about playing in the unique college offense and how it affects him as a receiver. "Mostly I give them one of the most complicated routes that we had on the Tech offense," he said. "Mostly they want to know how I read the defense, how we are supposed to make a combination route," said Hill, who currently projects as an early-to-mid-round pick.
4. UCLA tight end Cory Harkey as blocker. With just 28 career receptions, the 6-foot-4, 272-pound Harkey could be worthy of a mid-to-late round flier as a third tight end who could develop into something more, similar to the team's approach in 2011 with fifth-round draft choice Lee Smith (Marshall) and rookie free agent Will Yeatman (Maryland). With just 28 career receptions in college (1 in his final season), Harkey is viewed as more of an in-line blocker at this point. He has athletic bloodlines as his father, Mike, was a baseball pitcher in the major leagues for 10 seasons.
5. Yale quarterback Patrick Witt. It's not often that you see an Ivy League quarterback in this setting, and Witt noted that he views one of his strengths as intelligence. At the same time, he pointed out that he transferred to Yale from Nebraska, so it's not like he hasn't seen the highest level of competition. For teams with a complex system like the Patriots who are looking to develop a quarterback behind the scenes for a year or two, the 6-foot-4, 225-pound Witt could fit the bill as a late-round option or free agent.