Originally posted on NESN.com  |  Last updated 3/29/13
The Patriots only have five draft picks in this April’s NFL draft, but they appear to be taking a high-risk, high-reward approach with their limited selections. They already have a visit scheduled with South Carolina running back Marcus Lattimore, who underwent multiple knee surgeries over the past few seasons. Now, troubled LSU cornerback Tyrann Mathieu is taking a trip to Gillette Stadium for a visit, too. That visit will take place on April 5, according to Jeff Howe of the Boston Herald. Mathieu sat out the entire 2012 college football season after being kicked off the LSU football team for extended drug abuse. The 2011 Heisman Trophy finalist did impress scouts with his workouts and attitude at the combine. Mathieu did meet with the Patriots during his time at the combine, and acknowledged they seemed “very interested” even after grilling him with extensive questions about his checkered past. Bill Belichick has been known to take a flier on risky prospects in the past. Just look to the drafting of Alfonzo Dennard, Rob Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez for further confirmation of that. So, taking a flier on Mathieu would be just par for the course in New England. Mathieu, who is an undersized cornerback at just 5-foot-9, is expected to fall somewhere between the second and fourth rounds of the draft in April. So, the Patriots will have competition for his services, especially considering he’s also set to meet with the 49ers next month,
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