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Want potential? Or production?

Posted by Albert Breer  February 27, 2010 07:00 PM

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We've talked a lot about Brandon Graham for a while. And part of it has been centered on whether the Patriots would break their mold for outside linebackers to draft the Michigan playmaker.

What if they don't want to stray from their prototype?

Meet Sergio Kindle, a versatile, athletic, 6-foot-3, 250-pounder.

The fit works for a number of reasons. First, he's got experience rushing off the edge, and playing on the line and off it, and with his hand on the ground and off it. So there's the do-everything part that the Patriots sure to love. Second, he obviously fills a need. And third, he played for Bill Belichick buddy and Texas defensive coordinator Will Muschamp.

Ideally, you can get the kind of production early from Kindle as the Redskins got from his ex-teammate Brian Orakpo, and because he was moved around so much, he's still got plenty of growing to do as an edge player, if that's where you put him. Last year was the first from Kindle playing primarily as a rusher, and while he was a bit inconsistent, he flashed big in the big games against Oklahoma and Alabama.

Even better, he really seems to be working to improve at getting after the passer, and he's used DeMarcus Ware -- the premier 3-4 OLB in the NFL -- to study up.

"Coach Muschamp made some cut-ups for me at the beginning of the year," Kindle said, "and showed me some of his technique getting off the ball and how he makes it easy."

As for Graham (yup, we got some more from him), he spoke today too and revealed that he has spoken with ex-Wolverine teammates Shawn Crable and Pierre Woods about the Patriots organization.

"(People) love to hate them," Graham said. "They have a swagger about them and they take pride in what they do. Everybody in the building works hard, so get ready if you become a Patriot.”

So on one end, you've got the super-productive college player (Graham), and on the other, there's the guy with all the measureables and high-end potential (Kindle) who was pretty darn good himself. You'll be hearing plenty more about these two in the weeks to come.
News, analysis and commentary from Boston.com's staff writers and contributors, including Zuri Berry and Erik Frenz.

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