Originally written on NESN.com  |  Last updated 11/18/14
The NFL scouting combine is now officially in the rear view and all 32 teams around the league will have to make heads or tails of the more than 300 prospects they scouted over the past week. Some of the big winners from the 2013 edition included Notre Dame tight end Tyler Eifert, Florida defensive tackle Shariff Floyd and even West Virginia wide receiver Tavon Austin. They, along with many other players, performed well in the physical drills and even exceeded their expected measurables in some cases. Two guys who were paid a lot of attention at the combine, mainly for their combination of on-field talent and off-field issues, were Tennessee Tech wide receiver Da’Rick Rogers and LSU cornerback Tyrann Mathieu. Both players tested extremely well, putting their physical skills on full display and proving accountable for their erred judgment — both were kicked off their football teams (Rogers at the University of Tennesse and Mathieu as LSU) for failed drug tests and marijuana use — in interviews. Even with the impressive combine showings, some teams may still take both players off their draft boards completely. The Patriots likely won’t be one of those teams. Bill Belichick understands personal problems but is more than willing to roll the dice with questionable prospects, as he showed with Ryan Mallett (third round) in 2011 and Alfonzo Dennard (seventh round) in 2012. So, with cornerback and wide receiver two of the Patriots’ biggest needs this offseason, both Mathieu and Rogers could be low-cost, high-value picks for the Patriots in this year’s draft. With the combine still fresh in our minds and the NFL offseason starting to heat up, NESN NFL writer Luke Hughes and assistant editor Doug Kyed teamed up to discuss some of this year’s best draft fits for New England while also touching on Tom Brady’s new contract and Brandon Lloyd’s uncertain future in Foxboro. So, sit down, strap in and take a listen to this week’s edition of the NESN NFL podcast. document.getElementById('wpcom-iframe-form-1e17db0b6bb8063057a7b4c4df431f54').submit(); Have a question for Luke Hughes? Send it to him via Twitter at @LukeFHughes or send it here.
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