INDIANAPOLIS -- If the Patriots decide to use their first-round pick in April's draft on a safety a name to keep in mind is Louis Delmas from Western Michigan.
A four-year starter, Delmas played corner for Western Michigan as a true freshman then switched to safety where he showed the versatility to play both free and strong safety and cover the slot in nickel situations.
The Patriots could have a need at safety with Rodney Harrison eyeing retirement and James Sanders a free agent.
Delmas, who measured in at 5-11 1/4, 202 pounds, said today that he spoke with Patriots defensive coordinator Dean Pees on Saturday.
"I talked to the D-coordinator for a good 15 minutes," Delmas said. "We got along well. He let me know out front that I'd be able to fit into the defense, but he told me that it's going to require a lot of film work, a lot of time in the playbook. I'm willing to do that. That's the type of person I am. I love to watch film. I can find the little things about the opposing teams. I'd think I'd be able to fit into there."
Delmas certainly sounded like a Patriot when asked whether he was a free safety or a strong safety at the next level.
"At the school I was at I was always playing free and strong," said Delmas. "There were positions where I had to drop down into the box and play linebacker and play deep middle as a man free. Going into the league, I see myself as just a safety. I can play strong or free. I can play nickel [corner]. You got to be able to play multiple positions in the league."
Two more players the Patriots could potentially be interested in helped themselves at the combine today.
Cincinnati defensive end/outside linebacker/tight end Connor Barwin, who has drawn comparison to Mike Vrabel, clocked a 4.66 in the 40-yard dash, the second-fastest time among the defensive line group, which was the position group Barwin ran with.
USC linebacker Clay Matthews ran the 40 in 4.67, the fourth-fastest time among linebackers.