Patriots Looking At Ayers, English

Add two more to the Patriots radar.  According to Mike Florio of, Tennessee defensive end / outside linebacker Robert Ayers will make a visit to the Patriots:

University of Tennessee defensive end Robert Ayers is scheduled to visit the New England Patriots and several other NFL teams, according to a league source.

Ayers, who previously visited the Buffalo Bills, is also set to visit the Denver Broncos and the Philadelphia Eagles.

Last season, Ayers registered a career-high 49 tackles and 15 1/2 for losses as well as three sacks. Ayers has 4.77 speed in the 40-yard dash.

A lot of 3-4 teams are evaluating him as an outside linebacker prospect.

The Patriots will also hold a private workout with DE/OLB Larry English from Norther Illinois.  The Northern Star reports:

English ran the 40-yard dash, the 60-yard shuttle, completed the broad jump and also did position drills. English ran a 4.62 40-yard dash and said he improved on everything from the combine. His 40 time in the combine was 4.77.

“I think I helped myself,” English said.

English also has individual workouts coming up with the Patriots, Browns, Broncos and Giants.

English is considered one of the top prospects in this year’s draft and is a possible first-round pick. Draft Countdown has English going to Atlanta at No. 24 but Todd McShay of Scout’s Inc. and Mel Kiper Jr. of ESPN have both dropped English into the second round.

English is a guy I really like. At 6-2, 255 pounds, English projects as an outside linebacker in the Patriots 3-4 defense. He might not have the fastest straight line speed, but has a quick burst, and is very hard to handle as an outside rusher, and is athletic enough to stick with tight ends.

Robert Ayers is a very interesting prospect. He burst on to the scene in 2008 before primarily being a bench player his first three years at Tennessee. He has been flying up the boards as of late, but I question his ability to play outside linebacker in the 3-4. He is more of a change of pace rusher, as he lacks great speed and agility (which will make him suspect in coverage). There is no question he is a great player, but I really am not sure he is the best fit for the Patriots. And I’m sure that during his visit, the Patriots will try to gauge just how good he would be for the Pats. I’ll just leave it up to Bill Belichick.


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