Patriots scouting defensive prospects

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Patriots scouting defensive prospects

According to Pro Football Talk's draft visits and workout tracker, the Patriots have been connected with 13 NFL Draft prospects, with still three weeks before the NFL Draft.

Out of those 13 players, eight have been quarterbacks and five have been wide receivers.

Kidding, kidding.

If these visits and workout are any indication, the Patriots are well aware at their need to improve their defense

Just one player, Iowa State receiver Brandon Taylor, is from the offensive end of the ball, with the other 12 being defensive players.

But it breaks down even further.

Of those 12 players on defense, Seven of them are out of the secondary.

Not surprising, unless it is, because nobody really knows what's going on behind closed doors at Gillette stadium, especially when it comes to the NFL Draft.

But the Patriots gave up a total of 4,703 passing yards last season, second worst in the NFL behind the Packers. Yes, they were ahead in most of those games, prompting teams to throw the ball more. But opposing teams who passed on them had a 62.4-percent success rate, tenth highest last season. So yeah, there's room for improvement.

According to PFT, here are the secondary players the Patriots have been seen with at some point in some way, shape, or form.

Josh Bellamy, Louisville CB

Jordan Bernstine, Iowa State safety

Omar Bolden, Arizona State cornerback

Ron Brooks, LSU cornerback

Tony Dye, UCLA safety

Micah Pellerin, Hampton cornerback

Brandon Taylor, LSU safety

Clayborn beats out Seymour, Vrabel to enter Patriots Hall of Fame

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Clayborn beats out Seymour, Vrabel to enter Patriots Hall of Fame

Raymond Clayborn has been voted into the Patriots Hall of Fame, beating out both Mike Vrabel and Richard Seymour for the honor. The corner, who is tied for the franchise record for interceptions with Ty Law (36), will be the 26th person inducted to the Hall. 

Clayborn was a three-time Pro Bowler (1983, 1985, 1986) during his 13-year Patriots career from 1977 through 1989. He was drafted by the Patriots in the first round (16th overall) out of Texas in 1977, and chipped in both in the secondary and as a kick returner. As a rookie in the return game, he averaged 31 yards per return and brought back three for touchdowns. 

Clayborn reacted to the news on Twitter soon after the announcement was made. 

"I was fortunate to be a season ticket holder during Raymond's entire Patriots career," Patriots Chairman and CEO Robert Kraft said in a statement. "For the first half of his career, he teamed with Michael Haynes to form one of the best corner tandems in league history. Throughout his career, Raymond was a physical, shutdown corner.

"One of my favorite memories was watching the 1985 team advance to the Super Bowl after Raymond helped us break the Orange Bowl curse when he stymied future Hall of Fame quarterback Dan Marino with a dominant performance against Pro Bowl receivers Mark Duper and Mark Clayton. Raymond had six passes defensed and an interception to help us claim our first conference title. It was the greatest upset victory in franchise history at the time and one the entire New England region celebrated. It is a well-deserved honor and I look forward to presenting him his hall of fame jacket."

Clayborn has been a finalist for each of the last four years but was not able to generate enough support in the annual online vote to beat out Ty Law (2014 inductee), Willie McGinest (2015) or Kevin Faulk (2016). Clayborn was eligible to be voted in by the senior committee since he's now been retired for 25 years, but he did not receive the requisite eight of 10 senior committee votes to be elected in that way. 

As it turns out, he didn't need to be. When Kraft called Clayborn with the news, he said Clayborn received over 40 percent of the vote to beat out the pair of three-time Super Bowl champs.