We’re going to try and come up with a list of players the Patriots have worked out privately here in the coming days, but for now, I’ll give you one name I really like: Southern Cal wide receiver Damian Williams.
According to Ed Thompson of Scout.com, New England has set up a meeting with Williams for the middle of next week, in advance of the Trojans’ March 31 Pro Day. Thompson also reports — as ESPN’s Todd McShay did on a conference call yesterday — that Florida TE Aaron Hernandez was worked out privately by New England.
Some Southern Cal receivers have flamed out in the pros (Mike Williams, Dwayne Jarrett), but I’d argue that Williams is closer to ex-Trojan Steve Smith of the Giants than the others. He’s polished, very smart, and should be ready to step in and contribute right away. If you can get him in the second round, I’d say he’s a bargain.
With yesterday’s news that the Patriots and TE Alge Crumpler are under agreement on a contract (all that’s left is for it to be signed), the receiving threat Hernandez (a New England native himself) would make a lot of sense as a complement. He or a guy like Arizona’s Rob Gronkowski, combined with a receiver like Williams or Golden Tate, would make for an impressive skill-position upgrade there in the second round.
That, of course, is if Need No. 1 (pass rusher) is taken care of at 22.