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Patriots checking out some local prospects

The New England Patriots are hosting some prospects who play at New England-based schools or are from the local area as part of a group workout Thursday.

Each team in the NFL can host a "local pro day" leading up to the draft, and the Patriots are holding what has been described to me as a scaled-down version. So this isn't a situation where every local-based player is present, just a select few, in part because the club has already completed the scouting process on many of them.

Boston College quarterback Tyler Murphy, who has drawn interest from some NFL clubs as a slash-type player, was scheduled to be in attendance, but then switched at the last moment due to a scheduling conflict.

The 6-foot-1 3/8, 214-pound Murphy was a dual threat in 2014 after transferring from Florida, finishing with 1,623 passing yards while rushing for 1,184 yards. He was not invited to the combine, but his impact at Boston College was hard to miss.

A local prospect day can give a team a closer look at under-the-radar players such as South Dakota State defensive back Melvin Taveras (graduate of Lynn English High in Lynn Mass.) and Harvard center Nicholas Easton, among others.

After his high school days in Massachusetts, Taveras went to junior college in California before landing at South Dakota State. NFLdraftdiamonds.com recently put together a nice Q&A with him.

Meanwhile, as a follower of New England college football, the 6-foot-2 3/4, 303-pound Easton has caught our eye as a solid pro prospect, if given the time to develop. Harvard's website wrote a nice feature story on him in October.

From a big-picture perspective, Harvard linebacker Zack Hodges is arguably the top New England prospect this year, while Boston College offensive linemen Andy Gallik and Ian Silberman are among a group of "draftable" prospects NFL scouts have spent time evaluating.