The Patriots traveled to Waco, Texas earlier this week to hold a private workout with Baylor receiver Kendall Wright, the Globe has learned.
Teams typically hold late workouts to glean more information on a prospect in case the player is available to them.
Wright could go as high at 16th to the Jets, or he could fall into the second round after a subpar combine workout in which his speed (4.61) was a lot slower than he plays on film.
"You see him running by a corner every game," an AFC scout said after the combine about Wright. "If you would have asked me to guess (his time coming in), I would have conservatively guessed 4.45. I would have thought he easily would have run a 4.3. But for him to run to run what he did, I was completely shocked. It kind of reminded me of when Chad (Ochocinco) came out of Oregon State, he ran like a 4.6 after running by people at the Senior Bowl. He played a lot faster than what he timed.”
Wright's combine workout, via hand times from league sources, were actually 4.49 and 4.51. He followed that up at his Pro Day with times of 4.41 and 4.46.
Wright (5 feet 10 inches, 196 pounds) is considered to be one of the top receivers in the draft behind Justin Blackmon (Oklahoma State) and Michael Floyd (Notre Dame).
The Patriots could go up and get Wright, or they could wait to see if he falls to them at 27 or 31.
After franchising Wes Welker and signing Brandon Lloyd, Donte Stallworth, and Anthony Gonzalez in free agency -- in addition to Ochocinco taking a pay cut, it wouldn't appear the Patriots have a need at receiver.
That would be incorrect.
A year from now, they all could be gone. Wright wouldn't have to win a job right away in the Patriots' complicated scheme ,either -- although that wouldn't hurt. Wright could come in and learn the system under little pressure for a year with an eye on 2013.
Likewise, don't be surprised if the Patriots go receiver in the first round -- something they've never done under Bill Belichick. Stephen Hill (Georgia Tech) and Rueben Randle (LSU) would also be available in the late-first, early-second round area.