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BOSTON (CBS) – The New England Patriots are back in Indianapolis, but aren’t thinking about their Super Bowl loss from last month.
The Patriots are back in Indy for the NFL Scouting Combine, taking a look at the draft class they’ll be sifting through for April’s NFL Draft.
Head coach Bill Belichick is not expected to talk this weekend, but director of player personnel Nick Caserio took a few moments on Thursday to speak with the media.
With two picks in each of the first two rounds (27th and 31st in first round, 16th and 31st in the second) the Patriots will have options, if they chose to use those picks.
“There’s depth at more positions relative to others. I’d say receiver is a position of strength. The offensive line’s a position of strength. The front seven is a position of strength,” Caserio said of the depth in the draft. “A lot of the players, front seven especially that were down at the Senior Bowl, are some of the better players in this draft. I think it’s a good draft. Like every year, each position has a little more depth or balance relative to others. That’s kind of where it is right now as we sit here at the combine.”
While drafting a receiver seems logical for New England, they also have a free agent receiver to worry about. Wes Welker is set to hit the open market, if the Patriots do not franchise him first.
Although Belichick didn’t talk, Caserio did his best impression when asked about Welker.
“We’re going through the process. We’ve had conversations with our free agents at different points, whether it was in the fall. We’ll continue that dialogue,” Caserio said of the Patriots 17 free agents. “We have until March 13 until free agency begins, so we’ll do our due diligence. We’ll go through the process and see where we end up.”
“Wes has been a productive player since he’s been here. His body of work speaks for itself,” he said of Welker. “I think one of the things we try to do is we always look forward, don’t live in the past, and really we just see how the player performs at that particular time.”
When asked if Chad Ochocinco would be returning to New England, Caserio kept it pretty simple.
“He’s under contract. So, if he’s under contract, he’ll be here,” he said.