Free Agent Primer: Defensive line

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Free Agent Primer: Defensive line

By Tom E. Curran
CSNNE.com

This is the fifth in a series of looks at the Patriots' position-by-position needs after the draft, and who's available to fill them via free agency . . . whenever free agency might come. Today's position: Defensive line.

Who's here?
Vince Wilfork, Ty Warren, Marcus Stroud, Mike Wright, Ron Brace, Myron Pryor, Kyle Love, Brandon Deaderick, Landon Cohen, Kade Weston, Darryl Richard, Marlon Favorite.
Who's out there?
Cullen Jenkins (Packers), Stephen Bowen (Cowboys), Shaun Smith (Chiefs), Justin Bannan (Broncos), Kenyon Coleman (Browns), Jacques Cesaire (Chargers), Gerard Warren (Patriots), Shaun Ellis (Jets). What's the need?
From 1-10? Let's call it a5. The Patriots have an abundance of heft along their defensive line with Brace (330 pounds) Wilfork (350-plus), Cohen (305), Deaderick (300), Favorite (317), Pryor (310), Richard (295), Stroud (310), Weston (316), Wright (295)and Ty Warren (305). The rotation is deep and young. There are veterans and young guys. There are guys who generate pressure (Wright had 5.5 sacks, Pryor has a knack as well, it seems). Overall, it's a pretty solid group. I think Gerard Warren was really outstanding for them last year, but his contract expired and Marcus Stroud was brought aboard. I thought that was a dubious acquisition but was redirected by opposing GMs who assured me that Stroud can still play and is very professional. A good pickup. So what I'm getting at is, unless they unearth the new Seymour - a 6-6,, 310-pound chiseled guy who can anchor with ease, command double-teams and chase all over the field - the Patriots will only be duplicating what they have on their roster with most of the guys on the market.Who do they chase?
Gerard Warren will still be out there when free agency opens. He'd be a good get. Other than that, the 3-4, 5-technique ends would be the places the Patriots would seek. Coleman. Bannan, released by Denver as the Broncos switch to a 4-3. That ilk makes sense. Who do we look at next?
Outside linebackers.

Tom E. Curran can be reached at tcurran@comcastsportsnet.com. Follow Tom on Twitter at http:twitter.comtomecurran

Mayock: If I'm Cleveland, I'd be 'stoked' to land Garoppolo for No. 12 pick

Mayock: If I'm Cleveland, I'd be 'stoked' to land Garoppolo for No. 12 pick

NFL Network draft expert Mike Mayock quarterbacked a marathon conference call with reporters from around the country on Monday in order to shed some light on the prospects who will compete at the combine later this week. One thing that stood out? He's not ready to crown anyone in this year's crop of draftable signal-callers.

As a result of the dearth of pro-ready talent at quarterback, Mayock recognized Patriots backup Jimmy Garoppolo as perhaps the top target for any quarterback-needy team. Garoppolo might interest the Cleveland Browns in particular, Mayock noted, because of the number of picks they have near the top of the draft.

"In my opinion," Mayock said, "if I'm the Cleveland Browns and I've got No. 1 and No. 12, if I came away with either [defensive end Myles] Garrett or [defensive tackle] Jonathan Allen at No. 1, and gave up the 12th pick in the draft to get Garoppolo? I would be stoked.

"I would feel like I had a difference-maker on defense and we had a quarterback on offense. Now let's get to work. We got five in the first 65 picks. Let's get to work. From my perspective, especially looking at the quarterbacks this year, if they gave up No. 12 and could get Garoppolo, I'd be all over that."

Patriots promote coaching assistant Nick Caley to tight ends coach

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Patriots promote coaching assistant Nick Caley to tight ends coach

As the Patriots so often like to do, they promoted from within to fill an open coaching position on Monday. 

The team announced that they've named Nick Caley as their tight ends coach, filling the vacancy left behind when Brian Daboll accepted the offensive coordinator position at the University of Alabama last week. 

Caley was a coaching assistant with the Patriots for the past two seasons after spending a decade in the college ranks at John Carroll (2005-06), Akron (2006-07), Auburn (2008), Iowa State (2009-11), Eastern Illinois (2012), Arkansas (2013) and Florida Atlantic (2014).

Caley is one of several John Carroll products -- including director of player personnel Nick Caserio, offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels and assistant quarterbacks coach Jerry Shuplinski -- working for the Patriots at the moment. He graduated from the Jesuit university situated just outside of Cleveland in 2006.