|03-24-2008, 12:40 PM||#1|
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Patriots worked out Groves
The Patriots held a private, on-campus workout with Auburn University defensive end/outside linebacker Quentin Groves on March 13. The 6-foot, 3-inch, 259-pound Groves is a classic speed-rusher -- he's been clocked at 4.53 in the 40-yard dash -- and tied the Auburn career record for sacks with 26.
Groves is a tweener who projects to be an outside linebacker-edge rusher for teams that run a 3-4 scheme like the Patriots. At the NFL Scouting Combine in February, Groves said he started two games at outside linebacker in Auburn's 4-3 scheme his senior season and said he was open to becoming a 3-4 linebacker at the NFL level; a question several teams posed to him at the combine.
"I think all nine asked me, ‘Would you go to outside linebacker?’ ” said Groves in February. "I told them, ‘Without a doubt, if you need me to play it, I’ll play it.' "
Sean Kiernan, the agent for Groves, said his client also had a private workout with the New York Jets, who pick sixth, one spot ahead of the Patriots, in next month's NFL Draft. Kiernan said that Groves had visits with six other teams scheduled as well.
Groves is generally projected to be a first-round pick, but is not considered a top 10 selection at this point like another hybrid pass-rusher, Ohio State's Vernon Gholston. However, Groves said his goal is to be the first defensive end/outside linebacker-type to be selected in the draft.
As colleague Mike Reiss always notes, all of these private workouts come with the following disclaimer: As part of their draft preparation, the Patriots hold private workouts for several prospects. In most cases, they most accurately represent that the team is seeking more information before giving the player a final ranking on the draft board.