Patriots potential draftees: Ryan Williams

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Patriots potential draftees: Ryan Williams

By TomE.Curran
CSNNE.com

Heading into the NFL draft, Tom E. Curran plans a series oflooks at potential Patriots draftees. Today's player:Ryan Williams.

Ryan Williams, Virginia Tech
5-9, 212Running Back
The Skinny:The Patriots have shown interest, with running backs coach Ivan Fears working Williams out down in Blacksburg, Virginia. Williams had his2010 season ruined production-wise by a torn hamstring and only gained 477 yards (4.3 per carry) but managed nine touchdowns in five starts. As a result, he promises to be undervalued by decision-makers who need to "sell" their draft picks to their owners and fanbases. The Patriots don't have to do that, as the Brandon Tate and Rob Gronkowski picks the last two seasons showed. Williams' speed, aggression, competitive fire and overall package makes him very enticing.Gotta Have Him:In talking to draft analyst Wes Bunting at the National Football Post, Williams is the most suited for the Patriots out of the backs I've profiled (Mark Ingram, Mikel Leshoure). "From a scheme standpoint, he is the best fit," said Bunting. "He runs well from the shotgun, he's a violent slasher, he can catch the football really well. He did have a tendency to run upright but being injured slowed him down and made him run with a lower pad level. Being beat up may have actually enhanced his game."Don't Need Him:BenJarvus Green-Ellis is 5-11, 215 - there may not be enough concrete difference between Williams and Law Firm. Additionally, he's got a style that could lead to dings. A bigger back who's a layup on third-and-2 - like Leshoure - may be a better complement to the stable than Williams.Forecast: In terms of temperament and skill set, Williams seems a really good fit. Tack on the fact he's been hurt and teams are going to let him slide on down as a result of not having that final season of solid tape. Says Buntin, "One thing the Patriots do is, they are so farsighted. They'll look at where a player will be three or four years down the line. For them, Williams would be the best fit, then Leshoure, then Ingram who is the best running back but is the worst blocker and receiver of the group you mentioned.".AOLWebSuite .AOLPicturesFullSizeLink height: 1px; width: 1px; overflow: hidden; .AOLWebSuite a color:blue; text-decoration: underline; cursor: pointer .AOLWebSuite a.hsSig cursor: default
Tom E. Curran can be reached at tcurran@comcastsportsnet.com. Follow Tom on Twitter at http:twitter.comtomecurran

Ohio State LB on Belichick: 'When you first meet him, you're scared'

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Ohio State LB on Belichick: 'When you first meet him, you're scared'

Even for some of the nation's top athletes, confident 20-somethings with the rest of their (perhaps very lucrative) lives ahead of them, there's a feeling you just can't shake when Bill Belichick walks into the room. 

"When you first meet him, you're scared," said Ohio State linebacker Raekwon McMillan, per WBZ. "He's quizzing you. It's like a little test. But after you get done with the test, the quiz or whatever, drawing up the defense, it's pretty cool. They're real down to earth people. Really cool."

Belichick was spotted at Ohio State's pro day getting a closer look at McMillan and his teammates on Thursday. He then headed off to Ann Arbor, Michigan for the Wolverines showcase Friday.

During various scouting trips across the country, the Patriots appear to be showing significant interest in the incoming class of linebackers. Belichick spent some extra time with Vanderbilt's Zach Cunningham -- who's projected to be a first-rounder -- at his pro day. The team reportedly scheduled a meeting with a speedy linebacker from Cincinnati. And Matt Patricia caught up with Notre Dame linebacker James Onwualu once his workouts finished up on Thursday. 

As for McMillan, the 6-2, 240-pounder was a second-team All-American and a first-team All-Big Ten choice. He's instinctive, but there's some question as to whether or not he has the strength to hold up inside at the next level.

PODCAST: Dan Wetzel on the Aaron Hernandez double-murder trial

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PODCAST: Dan Wetzel on the Aaron Hernandez double-murder trial

Tom E. Curran has Dan Wetzel of Yahoo Sports as a guest to discuss the Aaron Hernandez double homicide trial. Wetzel has been in the courtroom, and wrote this piece about the day Hernandez’s former friend Alexander Bradley testified in court. 

After speaking with Wetzel, Curran has Tim Rohan of MMQB.com on to discuss his day with ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter.

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