Caserio to pull back veil on draft process

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Caserio to pull back veil on draft process

By Tom E. Curran
CSNNE.com

Curious how the NFL Draft sausage gets made?
Yeah, me too. That's why I'm looking forward to this afternoon's media session with Nick Caserio, the Patriots Director of Player Personnel. Caserio is down to discuss all the practical parts of draft day. The ratings, the trade calls, the under-the-gun decision-making. Normally, we get Bill Belichick for this predraft summit meeting and while he's fascinating, he sometimes gets into the shrug and grunt after he gets asked one too many questions asking for specifics. It's not like Caserio is going to be a font of information on prospects but he should afford us with at least a few more nuggets. I'm interested in finding out answers to the following:When a player is flagged whether it be for physical or character issues, is there a spot at which he drops and becomes palatable? How much time is spent on investigating other teams' rosters and needs and collecting information on who they may select?Do agents impact the grades given to players? What's been the stickiest, most pressure-filled moment he's experienced? How is the lack of free agency impacting this year's operation? We'll be tweeting and blogging from there this afternoon so we'll keep you posted.
Tom E. Curran can be reached at tcurran@comcastsportsnet.com. Follow Tom on Twitter at http:twitter.comtomecurran.

Patriots-Steelers injury report: Seven Pats listed as questionable

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Patriots-Steelers injury report: Seven Pats listed as questionable

FOXBORO -- The Patriots will head into Sunday's AFC title game with seven players listed as questionable, including three receivers. 

Danny Amendola, Malcolm Mitchell and Chris Hogan have all been limited in practices this week due to their injuries. Amendola has been dealing with an ankle issue since a Week 13 win over the Rams, while Mitchell has not played since injuring his knee in Week 16 against the Jets. Hogan suffered a thigh injury against the Texans and left the game in the third quarter.

Both Hogan and Mitchell indicated this week that they were moving in the right direction in terms of their recoveries. One would think that the Patriots would need at least one, if not both, to help stress the back end of the Steelers secondary this weekend.

Hogan has been the team's most consistent down-the-field threat this season, averaging a whopping 17.9 yards per catch during the regular season. Against the Texans, before his injury, he reeled in four passes for 95 yards. 

Mitchell, meanwhile, had a very productive second half of his rookie season before he was hurt. He compiled 25 catches for 306 yards between Weeks 11 and 16, establishing himself as one of Tom Brady's go-to targets. 

The overall health of the Patriots receiving corps -- which will also include Julian Edelman and Michael Floyd -- will bear watching when the Patriots and Steelers kick off in two days.

The injury report for Sunday's Patriots-Steelers game:

NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS

QUESTIONABLE
WR Danny Amendola (ankle)
TE Martellus Bennett (knee)
RB Brandon Bolden (knee)
LB Dont'a Hightower (shoulder)
WR Chris Hogan (thigh)
WR Malcolm Mitchell (knee)
DL Jabaal Sheard (knee)

PITTSBURGH STEELERS

QUESTIONABLE
TE Ladarius Green (concussion/illness)
LB James Harrison (shoulder/triceps)
RB Fitzgerald Toussaint (concussion)

NOT LISTED
RB Le'Veon Bell (not injury related)
K Chris Boswell (illness)
LB Anthony Chickillo (ankle)
S Sean Davis (shoulder)
C B.J. Finney (illness)
WR Darrius Heyward-Bay (illness)
DE Ricardo Mathews (ankle)
QB Zach Mettenberger (illness)
S Michael Mitchell (not injury related)
QB Ben Roethlisberger (not injury related)
LB Vince Williams (shoulder)