Late value deep in secondary
There is a theme in this year’s deep pool of safety prospects. They’re playmakers who relish in versatility and claim to like special teams. That sounds like something the Patriots can get behind. After Texas’ Kenny Vaccaro, who could go in the top half of the first round, the rest of the safeties are still sorting themselves out. If the Patriots want to pluck one with the 29th pick, they could seek out the likes of Florida International’s Johnathan Cyprien, Florida’s Matt Elam, South Carolina’s D.J. Swearinger or LSU’s Eric Reid. But the question is how much of a talent drop-off there would be from the second safety off the board to the seventh, eighth or ninth. If there isn’t much disparity, the Patriots could find an answer at No. 59 or maneuver into the third round, where they hold the 91st pick. The upper-level talent is expected to stretch into the middle rounds. “There are a lot of great players,” said USC safety T.J. McDonald, who is projected to go in the third round. “I feel like it’s a deep class. I’m just happy to be able to come out here and compete, be able to show them how I am compared to these other guys. It’s a great class. To be able to be at the top of the class, you must be a really good safety. That’s my aiming point.” The safeties involved welcome the well-known competition at their position, and it’s created a fun atmosphere at Lucas Oil Stadium for the combine. “I’m all for competition,” said Swearinger, who met with two Patriots scouts. “I’m glad it is a deep class so I can show what I can do out here (tomorrow during positional drills).”
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