Earlier this week, Illinois cornerback Vontae Davis, as was first reported by profootballtalk.com, and later by other media outlets. Pro Football Talk also reported that defensive back Malcolm Jenkins from Ohio State will visit.
These two players are probably, as I believe, the two best cornerbacks in the 2009 NFL draft class. At February’s combine, Michael Jenkins ran a 4.55 40 yard dash, and a lot of analysts believe that he will transition to free safety in the NFL. I don’t buy it. I believe he has the short area quickness, natural instincts, press cover skills, and ball hawk abilities to be a shut down cornerback in the NFL. However, I don’t believe he will be around at 23, so the Patriots would likely have to make a trade to move up and get him.
Widely considered the best talent at cornerback, Vontae Davis may actually see himself slip to the Patriots at 23, although I do believe he will go earlier. Davis is freakishlyfast and athletic, can press, support the run, and is a natural playmaker. However, off the field issues have really followed him around, and would certainly be a red flag. However, if he can get it together, he could really become a Pro Bowl caliber player at some point as he certainly has all of the tools.
According to Mike Reiss, the Patriots hosted North Carolina wide receiver Brandon Tate on a pre-draft visit today. Tate was originally projected to go higher than fellow North Carolina receivers Brooks Foster and Hakeem Nicks, but a horrific knee injury his senior season set him back. He is an excellent returner and special teams player, and has good quickness. Has soft hands and quick feet, although he obviously has work to do returning from that knee injury.