WEEI.com will continue to offer daily insight and analysis regarding options that may be available to the Patriots when it comes to the 2015 NFL draft. Here is one in a series of profiles of players who could be on the board when it’s time for the Patriots to make a selection.

Bud Dupree (Jamie Squire/Getty Images)

Bud Dupree (right) impressed at the scouting combine, posting the third-best broad jump of any player since 2003. (Jamie Squire/Getty Images)


Position: Defensive end

School: Kentucky

Height: 6-foot-4

Weight: 269 pounds

Achievements: 2014 All-SEC first team, 2013 All-SEC second team

What he brings: Dupree is a leader off the field and, per NFL.com, scouts give him a plus grade for character. He is very athletic, locates the ball quickly and is passionate in his pursuit, according to CBS Sports. He is capable of changing his rush moves and tricks opponents with one speed before bursting out to create big plays.

Where the Patriots could get him: Rounds 1-2

Notes: Dupree was a team captain in 2014 and started in all his four years at Kentucky. His results in the combine earned him top-performer status as he posted a 4.56 40-yard dash, 42-inch vertical jump and 11-foot, 6-inch broad jump, which is the third best of any outside linebacker at the combine since 2003. The Irwinton, Georgia, native departs from Kentucky with 23.5 total sacks, good for second best in school history. He had 7.5 sacks as a senior.

Related articles:

Pro Day: Dupree glad he stayed at UK to train

UK football: Alvin Dupree has played his way into a possible first-round draft pick 

Video: Here is a highlight video of Dupree’s time at UK.

Blog Author: 
Judy Cohen

In the Aaron Hernandez trial on Thursday, a woman who had been dancing with Hernandez in Rumor nightclub two nights prior to the killing of Odin Lloyd offered her testimony. Lloyd was with the former NFLer that night and prosecutors have said that Hernandez let the club angry.

The woman, Kasey Arma, said that she had seen Hernandez about a half-dozen times prior to that evening and that he attempted to get her attention by tapping on her hip. After first ignoring him, she then turned to talk to him. He introduced himself as Rock and asked to dance with her. They did for 5-10 minutes before Hernandez left in the middle of the song, telling her he would be right back.

According to Arma, when Hernandez came back roughly 10 minutes later, he was acting much differently than he had before. She said he was being more aggressive, that he brought her next to the main door and told her to dance.

“His whole demeanor was just very different: very on edge, aggressive and kind of arrogant,” she said.

Hernandez’s lawyers played a video of the two dancing by the doorway, in which they talked every so often and then parted ways. Arma said that he was being too aggressive so she didn’t want to dance with him anymore, and after being questioned by defense lawyer Michael Fee, she said that she did not like him after that night and had been talking to him to pump up her ego. She cited his arrogance specifically as something she took issue with.

In addition, another of Hernandez’s lawyers, James Sultan, went after the footprint evidence in the case that had been presented days before, asking how it was collected and matched with Hernandez’s shoes from that night. Massachusetts State Police Lt. Steven Bennett had said that the footprint found at the scene matched the print of the shoe Hernandez was wearing. He also said that he knew a colleague wanted him to link the print with the ex-Patriot before he made the match.

Blog Author: 
Judy Cohen

Join Chris Price of WEEI.com to break down all things Patriots and the NFL, Friday at noon. Price will answer all your questions about the offseason, as well as the landscape of the league as the dust settles following the initial wave of free agency.

Live Blog Chris Price Live Patriots Chat

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Based on their relationship and history between the two franchises, Chip Kelly could emerge as a go-to trade partner for Bill Belichick and the Patriots. (Evan Habeeb/Getty Images)

Based on their relationship and history between the two franchises, Chip Kelly could emerge as a go-to trade partner for Bill Belichick and the Patriots. (Evan Habeeb/Getty Images)

If you’re of the mind that the Patriots need to make some deals in hopes of shoring up the secondary of defensive line in the wake of the personnel losses of Darrelle Revis or Vince Wilfork, you should be checking out the rosters in Houston, Baltimore, Philadelphia and Tampa Bay.

History tells us that when it comes to dealing, Bill Belichick has a relatively small circle of teams — and more specifically, individuals — he prefers to deal with more than others. Since he took control of the Patriots in 2000, by our count, Belichick has made 102 trades. In all, he’s made the most deals with Oakland (9), followed by Denver, Chicago, Tampa Bay and Green Bay (all 6). That’s followed by Houston, New Orleans, Baltimore and Philly (5).

The Raiders have been Belichick’s most frequent trade partner, and deals with Oakland have arguably produced the most blockbusters, including the trades of Richard Seymour and Randy Moss. However, it’s worth noting that since the death of Al Davis in October 2011, the Patriots have not made a single deal with Oakland. (The last trade between New England and Oakland came when the two teams swapped picks on draft weekend in April of that year.) That’s not to rule out any sort of future trades between the two teams — only to suggest that the Raiders might not necessarily be the first team Belichick targets when he picks up the phone to talk about a deal this time around.

As for the best of the rest, it’s also unlikely that the Patriots and Broncos look to make a deal anytime soon, given the nature of their rivalry, as well as the fact that old friends Mike Shanahan or Josh McDaniels are no longer with Denver. Tampa Bay and Green Bay remain intriguing trade partners, as the Packers and GM Ted Thompson have shown a willingness to work with Belichick in the past on more than a few occasions over the last decade, with the last trade between the two teams coming last summer when New England acquired defensive tackle Jerel Worthy for a draft pick. And while the Patriots and Bears made a couple of notable deals a little over a decade ago (New England acquired Ted Washington in 2003 and a swap of draft picks that same year netted the Patriots Ty Warren), the two teams haven’t made a deal since 2007.

(Two teams we do know who are likely off Belichick’s trade radar: the Colts and Jets. While New York received compensation for losing Belichick to the Patriots in 2000, since he arrived in New England, Belichick has not made a personnel swap with either Indy or the Jets.)

That brings us to the Texans, Ravens, Eagles and Bucs. All four of these franchises have shown a willingness to work with the Patriots in the past, and given the deep relationship Belichick has with most of the decision-makers in each one of the four teams, it makes it a possibility that they could put together another deal in the not-too-distant future.

Houston: The Texans have Patriots alumni all over the franchise, from the field (Vince Wilfork, Brian Hoyer, Ryan Mallett) to the coaching staff (head coach Bill O’Brien, coordinator Romeo Crennel, assistant coaches Mike Vrabel, George Godsey and Anthony Pleasant). Three of the five trades have taken place on draft weekend, and given the working relationship between O’Brien and Belichick it certainly wouldn’€™t be a surprise to see them try and do something again this May.

Baltimore: Ravens GM Ozzie Newsome worked with Belichick when the two were in Cleveland, and continues to espouse many of Belichick’s team-building philosophies. While the postseason drama between the two sides over their bitter playoff clash may continue into 2015, from this viewpoint, it certainly wouldn’t preclude Belichick and Newsome from working together on another potential deal going forward.

Philadelphia: Considering that Belichick and Chip Kelly have fostered a working relationship deep enough to have multiple joint practices together over the last few years, it would be a bit of a surprise if there wasn’t some sort of deal between the two teams in the coming months. (That doesn’t even include the fact that Kelly now seems open to dealing with anyone and everyone over this offseason.) While Andy Reid was in Philly, the Patriots and Eagles would collaborate on draft weekend deals on a semi-regular basis. Given all of this, frankly, it would be a surprise if there wasn’t some sort of deal between the two sides between now and the start of the 2015 season.

Tampa Bay: The Patriots and Bucs have engaged in some high-level swaps over the last few years, including New England’s acquisitions of Aqib Talib and LeGarrette Blount, as well as the deal that sent Logan Mankins from New England to Tampa Bay prior to the start of last season. Considering the fact that Bucs GM Jason Licht worked three years in the Patriots front office before joining Tampa, the Bucs certainly appear to be as good a trade partner as any for New England.

Blog Author: 
Christopher Price

WEEI.com will continue to offer daily insight and analysis regarding options that may be available to the Patriots when it comes to the 2015 NFL draft. Here is one in a series of profiles of players who could be on the board when it’s time for the Patriots to make a selection.

Shaq Thompson (Otto Greule Jr./Getty Images)

Shaq Thompson is a linebacker, but he also spent some time as a running back for Washington and he had a brief stint as a baseball player in the Red Sox‘ minor league system. (Otto Greule Jr./Getty Images)


Position: Outside linebacker

School: Washington

Height: 6-foot-1

Weight: 228 pounds

Achievements: 2014 All-America first team, All-Pac-12 first team, Paul Hornung Award for most versatile player, 2013 All-Pac-12 honorable mention, 2012 All-Pac-12 honorable mention, Freshman All-America team

What he brings: Thompson is a versatile player who has successfully played both linebacker and running back, but he has told NFL teams that he is a linebacker. Scouts consider him an athletic linebacker who excels in run defense and consistently finishes his tackles. He has played safety and is great in pass coverage as well. There are concerns about his size, as he doesn’t have the bulk to match up with many NFL linemen.

Where the Patriots could get him: Rounds 2-3

Notes: ESPN.com ranks Thompson as the ninth linebacker and 62nd overall in the draft. As a running back in 2014, he had 61 rushes for 456 yards and two touchdowns. He was selected by the Red Sox in the 2012 MLB draft and went 0-for-39 with 37 strikeouts in rookie ball that summer before giving up baseball and making the full-time commitment to football.

Related articles:

USA Today: Thompson’s draft diary

NESN.com: Thompson on brief baseball career

Video: Here are highlights from Thompson’s 2014 season.

Blog Author: 
Nik Beimler

CHESTNUT HILL — With all the image problems the NFL has had over the last year, Boston College coach Steve Addazio has a solution. Look at Boston College.

Addazio made his case to NFL scouts and personnel for all 18 of his players on the field under the bubble of Alumni Stadium on Wednesday during Boston College Pro Day. Then he made his case to the media.

“As I said to [scouts], we’re really proud of our guys. We have a bunch of high-character guys here, guys who do things the right way, they’re fun to be around, they’re fun to coach, they’re accountable. There have been past players here have gone on to do very well in the NFL. They’ve done well because they’re bright guys and have a lot of character. So, they have a tendency of having great staying power and lasting.

“And I talked about each one of the guys, the positive contributions they’ve made here, what I think of their top-end potential and all those things. It’s been good. It’s been a good day. Our guys look good and they represent BC really well so it’s fun to watch them compete.”

Two of the leading prospects from Boston College are center Andy Gallik and linebacker Steele Divitto. Neither took part in the 40-yard dash but both participated in other agility drills during the two-hour session at BC. Gallik projects as a first or second-round selection as one of the best centers in the draft. Grad student quarterback Tyler Murphy garnered a lot of attention as one of the best pure athletes on the field.

“A lot of these guys have had multiple workouts now,” Addazio said. “I didn’t know about some of these different combines that are out there besides the one [NFL] combine. I think these guys know that. And they want to do well today but it’s not all or nothing. These things are… it’s still your tape. These are just things that validate your tape. It’s your tape [that indicate] how good a football player are you. And then if you’re kind of marginal guy and they want to make a case, ‘This guy has a great vertical leap or has great broad jump or ‘Did you see how fast he was?!’ Or ‘he gained 27 pounds since the season!'”

Receiver Josh Bordner was one of the prospects who has worked hard since the heartbreaking loss to Penn State in the Pinstripe Bowl to make an impression on scouts. He’s certainly made one on his coach. Bordner broke out as a receiver in his senior season, catching 27 passes for 346 yards and three touchdowns. But it’s the weight he’s put on his 6-foot-4 frame that caught the eye of Addazio Wednesday.

“I think Josh Bordner is a work-in-progress. He’s up to 244 pounds,” Addazio said. “He looks really good right now. He played 20 pounds lighter this season. He’s just starting that conversion. There’s a lot of that stuff going on. I think the guys look good. I’ve had a lot of people say, ‘Boy, your players look good.’ They do look good. That’s the sign of a good sign of a good strength and conditioning program. The development that they’ve had here, they look like they’re in shape and they’re doing well. I’m happy for them.”

Here are some other takeaways from Addazio on Wednesday:

On talking to scouts: “I get a chance to really highlight each guy, talk about their intangibles, which are important I believe. I’m on this whole deal that it’s really important to me. How important it is to the NFL I can’t comment on. We have great kids and I’ll tell them, ‘This is a great kid here. There’s no baggage. This is a just a great guy who knows what it takes to excel. I just want to make sure I make those points because we keep hearing all the time in the NFL, they want … these are great role models for our sport, ambassador for football, and I believe in that. I really pay attention to that stuff. There’s plenty of talented guys out there that can go do well and it’s OK to take a bunch of guys that really want to excel and don’t have a lot of troubles along the way. I think these guys represent what’s good in football.”

On defensive back Ty-Meer Brown, who came back from a neck injury at UConn to play his final year at Boston College: “We talked about him. What he went through at the last school he was at and medically and he had to go to get cleared and see a specialist in Pittsburgh and our doctors and it was a real process all year to get him back. He was playing his best football at the end of the year and he looks great and ran great. This is a guy who was projected to have a good career post-college, and he’s starting to realize that now, which is really a lot of satisfaction.”

On developing NFL prospects: Matt Patchan came here last year and he’s with Tampa Bay and he had his best year ever. Ian Silberman had his best year ever. Tameer Brown had his best year. Shakim Phillips looks unbelievable out there. He’s a big, fast receiver and he’s a better person and he’s out there really excelling and having great success. Started here, left here, came back here and finished great here. It’s a lot of fun to watch all that happen here right now. So, it’s all about development. You see the culmination of that. Here at BC, for us to be successful we have to develop our players. It has to happen. We don’t get the five-star, not that that means anything, but the ready-mades. It’s all come in here, develop, physically, mentally, toughness, technique, skill and come out the other end a developed player. And that’s been the history here, and I think we’re seeing that again here right now, and that’s critical for our success.”

Blog Author: 
Mike Petraglia

Former Patriots linebacker and current Houston sports radio host Ted Johnson joined Dennis & Callahan Thursday morning to talk about the concussion dangers in football. To hear the interview, go to the Dennis & Callahan audio on demand page.

Former Patriots linebacker Ted Johnson is a big advocate of post-concussion syndrome. (Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

Former Patriots linebacker Ted Johnson is a big advocate of post-concussion syndrome. (Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

Former Patriots linebacker and current Houston sports radio host Ted Johnson joined Dennis & Callahan Thursday morning to talk about the concussion dangers in football. To hear the interview, go to the Dennis & Callahan audio on demand page.

Johnson dealt with post-concussion syndrome after he retired in 2005 and the topic has come up again this week after 24-year-old 49ers linebacker Chris Borland retired because of fears of brain damage.

When Johnson retired there wasn’t much information about the serious dangers of concussions, but can relate to what Borland felt.

“I retired in the summer of 2005, the first day of training camp in 2005,” Johnson said. “I knew almost going into the offseason after we won our Super Bowl against the Philadelphia Eagles in 2004, I kinda knew that it might be coming to the end for me, but I wasn’t quite sure. I just knew my head hurt. I knew [from a] behavioral standpoint things weren’t right. I just knew my mood was shifting and something was wrong. I feel like I made the right decision.

“I feel like in a way I was maybe like what Patrick Willis, after his his eighth year shutting it down. I feel like after my 10th year that I was making the right decision even though I wasn’t educated and I wasn’t full informed on what I was dealing with. There was no name to what I had or what I was feeling. … For me I could relate to a lot of what Chris was going through and maybe what Patrick Willis and other guys who have retired because of the way their heads were feeling. I feel like for me in a lot of respects I don’t have a lot of regrets in that regard.”

The former linebacker said he didn’t know what post-concussion syndrome was until after a year after he retired and he started speaking with Chris Nowinski, the co-founder and president of Sports Legacy Institute, a non-profit organization dedicated to researching concussions. Johnson said he will be sharing his brain with Nowinski once he dies.

Johnson said the NFL and NFL doctors knew the dangers of concussions when he played, but just didn’t share the information.

“I know I have heard doctors from different teams reference post concussion syndrome,” he said. “This is the thing, if you remember back in the early 90s and remember Steve Young and Troy Aikman and remember watching football and the commentators would be like, ‘That is Troy’s seventh concussion, he better be careful. Oh, that is Steve Young’s eighth concussion, he better be careful.’ But, they would never finish the thought. It would be like he has to be careful, what do you mean he has to be careful? They knew something was wrong about concussions, but they never finished the thought.

“Can you imagine now? ‘Yeah, that is Tom Brady‘s eighth concussion, he better be careful.’ That would never be allowed now. They’ve come a long way, but I firmly believe the NFL and doctors, I mean it would be negligent on their part not to know that there was risks of having multiple concussions. I absolutely knew, actually feel in my heart of hearts they knew and just never shared that information.”

On a different topic, three years ago, on a Houston radio station Johnson called Vince Wilfork‘s wife Bianca the ugliest spouse of any of his former teammates. Wilfork is now a Houston Texan and Johnson still regrets his comments. He added it was a big pickup for the Texans, as Wilfork will help out their defensive line.

“That was a horrible mistake,” Johnson said. “That was about three years ago, I was doing a bit on another show that I had never done before and like my old man always says,’The best lessons in life always come at your own expense.’ I learned a hard lesson right there. That was a horrible mistake and I have put it behind me. It is something I regret every single day. Speaking on Vince Wilfork’s part coming here to Houston, it’s a huge pick up for these guys. Obviously the familiarity Vince has with Romeo CrennelMike Vrabel and Bill O’Brien is a big part. He is going to make that defensive line all the more better with J.J. Watt, hopefully Jadeveon Clowney comes back from his knee stuff. That was a massive, massive pickup for the Texans.”

Blog Author: 
Ryan Hannable

WEEI.com will continue to offer daily insight and analysis regarding options that may be available to the Patriots when it comes to the 2015 NFL draft. Here is one is a series of profiles of players who could be on the board when it’s time for the Patriots to make a selection.

A.J. Cann (right) (Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)

A.J. Cann (right) is known as a standout run blocker. (Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)


Position: Guard

School: South Carolina

Height: 6-foot-4

Weight: 311 pounds

Achievements: 2014 All-American, 2014 All-SEC, 2013 All-SEC, 2011 Freshman All-America first team

What he brings: Scouts see Cann as one of the best run blockers among guards in the draft. He uses his bulk and strength to drive defenders back and create holes for running backs. He is athletic for his size and is expected to be able to move around and get to the area where blocks need to be made. He is not as tall as many other offensive linemen, but experts like how he uses his strength and athleticism to overcome his size difference.

Where the Patriots could get him: Rounds 2-3

Notes: Cann was named permanent team captain to start his 2013 junior year and was named captain again in 2014. He started all but one game through his four years at South Carolina. ESPN.com ranks Cann as the third guard and 60th overall in the draft.

Related articles:

GoGamecocks.com: Cann’s draft diary

Greenville Online: Cann on NFL-readiness

Video: Here’s an analysis of A.J. Cann’s game from Senior Bowl executive director Phil Savage.

Blog Author: 
Nik Beimler

CHESTNUT HILL — Tyler Murphy has overcome big odds before.

The quarterback who made a name for himself in one season at Boston College as a graduate student came to The Heights as a quarterback who was tossed aside by the University of Florida.

During Florida’s 2013 homecoming loss to Vanderbilt, Murphy injured his shoulder, and redshirt freshman quarterback Skyler Mornhinweg played in Florida’s final 3 games. The 2013 Gators team finished 4-8, marking their 1st losing record since 1979 and the 1st time since 1990 that they didn’t play in a bowl. But if there was one thing the Florida quarterback became known for during his short stint in Gainesville, it was his ability to run with the football.

After the poor 2013 season, Murphy became one of several Florida players who chose to transfer to a different school. He transferred to Boston College in January 2014 as a graduate student.

Boston College coach Steve Addazio, and former Florida offensive coordinator, named him the team’s starting quarterback after the school’s annual Spring game, which served as a tryout for Murphy as well as the other, younger quarterbacks on the team.

Murphy immediately blossomed in his new home. His ability as a running quarterback fit in perfectly with Addazio’s rush-heavy offense. Over the season, Murphy lead the team to a 7’€“6 record, highlighted by a upset victory over No. 9 USC in October, a game in which Murphy ran for 191 yards. He broke the school record for rushing yards by a quarterback (both single-season and career), passing BC legend Doug Flutie in only nine games. In the final game of the season against Syracuse, he broke the ACC single-season rushing record by a quarterback with 1,079 yards.

“He’ll have to play that position,” Addazio said Wednesday. “The simple answer is yes. But he can do a lot of things. He is an elite athlete. These guys are all talking about it here. He’s an elite athlete. He’ll do whatever it takes, yeah. Whatever he has to do, no doubt.”

The real question is will an NFL team see enough from Murphy to either take a chance with a late-round pick or (more likely) sign him as a rookie free agent?

“Well, a lot of people are talking about him because he’s very versatile” Addazio said. “He’s running real well. He will do everything here really well. He’s a young quarterback so I think he’s caught the eye of a lot of people. He’s kind of a different guy. He’s extremely athletic and he’s extremely versatile. He’s needs to develop in the throw game. He’s got a great attitude. They all love him. The minute they minute him, they love who he is and what he is all about. So I think someone is going to get a great find in him, I really do. He can do a lot of stuff. He’s an elite athlete.”

But more than anything, according to Addazio, what sticks out about Murphy is his remarkable maturity as a 23-year-old quarterback who led Eagles to an unlikely Pinstripe Bowl bid against Penn State.

“He’s just got a great maturity about him,” Addazio said. “He’s been through a lot, a lot of coaches, a lot of coordinators, a lot of ups and downs. I think he was just so grateful and thrilled to have a program that was his, so to speak. He blended so well with our team. They loved him. He went out and had his best year. He’s not played a lot of football. That’s the amazing thing here. He played a little bit at Florida, the year before he came here and he played last year. So, he’s still going through that whole evolution of what young quarterbacks go through, especially in the throw game where things happen fast. He handled it all with grace and dignity, and he kept his competitiveness. And in the most competitive moments, he made some of the most competitive plays. So, there’s a future for Tyler, no doubt.”

Blog Author: 
Mike Petraglia