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New England Patriots NFL Combine 2013: Matt Elam, Tyrann Mathieu

The New England Patriots could be looking closely at the safety position with their first selection in the 2013 NFL Draft, and former Florida Gators standout Matt Elam could very well be the best option for the Pats. He has the athletic ability, the intelligence, the leadership, the football pedigree, solid coverage skills at strong safety, and he is a playmaker. Those are some traits that the Patriots value, and traits that could make Elam a good fit for New England.

Matt Elam had forty times at 4.46 and 4.53 at the 2013 NFL Combine, and the forty times show that he has plenty of speed. Elam may be short and won’t be able to cover tight ends, but the Patriots already have an excellent player at covering TEs in Tavon Wilson. Elam’s forty times will help his draft stock a bit, and the knocks on him in coverage get overstated.

Former LSU Tigers cornerback Tyrann Mathieu had plenty to prove going into the forty yard dash after managing just four reps on the bench press. That’s pitiful, but Mathieu made up for that by running a 4.43 forty with his other time clocked at 4.50. Those are solid numbers, but Mathieu’s draft stock will likely slip due to his poor showing on the bench press.

Mathieu’s game is based on being a pest at the line of scrimmage and speed as a potentially good nickel corner in the NFL, but the Pats already have a solid nickel guy in Kyle Arrington. Mathieu to the Pats in a later round is a possibility and there is upside in getting him, but his strength and size concerns will further push his stock. Maybe, that’s a good thing for the Pats if they do want to take a flier on him.

You can follow Joe Soriano on Twitter @SorianoJoe.

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Tags: Florida Gators Football LSU Tigers Matt Elam New England Patriots Tyrann Mathieu

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