Pioli says there's plenty to like with pass rushers

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Pioli says there's plenty to like with pass rushers

By TomE. Curran
CSNNE.com
INDIANAPOLIS - With the Patriots taking the guerilla approach to the NFL Scouting Combine, you need to be resourceful to figure out how they may be thinking. Enter Chiefs' general manager Scott Pioli, who was at the podium Saturday morning at the NFL Scouting Combine. He's not going to be able to delve into the Patriots' specific thought processes, but his football intel was framed by Bill Belichick. So we asked him about defensive endoutside linebacker class in this year's draft, an area the Patriots are needy in. "Some of these guys are defensive ends in the 4-3 or potentially outside linebackers in the 3-4 defense," said Pioli. But this is a strong group of players. Regardless of the defense, there's players that can help every team in the National Football League at those positions."Some experts are saying there are up to nine players with the ability to be considered first-round picks. We talked about Cam Jordan from Cal earlier Saturdayandbroke down the guys the Patriots could look at with NFP's Wes Bunting. Here's Bunting's full look at the prospects. Meanwhile, Pioli spoke about the importance of workouts with guys who may be asked to go from4-3 end to 3-4 outside linebackers. "Some of them have had their hand in the dirt and you haven't seen them drop (in coverage)," explained Pioli."That's why this is a critical time to work those players out. Not that you're going to know every detail about their ability to drop into coverage but you've got to be able to look at them and see what their physical skills are when you go on campus and work them out or you see them work out here. "There's also another part that you can't really tell until he's on your football team and that's the instincts, the awareness and the spatial awareness as a coverage guy," Pioli explained. "But there are guys who can do both things well."Tom E. Curran canbe reached at tcurran@comcastsportsnet.com.Follow Tom on Twitter at http:twitter.comtomecurran

Patriots receiver Andrew Hawkins announces retirement from NFL

Patriots receiver Andrew Hawkins announces retirement from NFL

Wide receiver Andrew Hawkins, who signed with the Patriots in May, announced his retirement from the NFL on Tuesday.

Hawkins obviously never suited up for a game with the Pats, but he played for the Bengals from 2011-13 and the Browns from 2014-16. The 31-year-old accumulated 209 receptions for 2,419 yards over the course of his short career.

He announced his decision to retire on Twitter via UNINTERRUPTED, noting his body has not felt the way it should through OTAs and the summer. As for what he has planned after football, he will pursue his Ph.D. in economics.