The Patriots are hosting North Carolina wide receiver Brooks Foster on a pre-draft visit at Gillette Stadium today, according to a league source.
The Pro Football Weekly Draft Guide rates Foster (6-0 1/2, 211) as a mid-round prospect. Two interesting nuggets about Foster: 1) He bench-pressed 225 pounds 27 times at the Combine, the most of any receiver; 2) He was a walk-on on UNC's 2005 NCAA champion men's basketball team.
The Patriots might be double-checking medical information on Foster before placing a final grade on him. Foster had arthroscopic surgery on his right knee after North Carolina's final regular season game and soreness resulted in him leaving Senior Bowl practices early, according to the Pro Football Weekly Draft Guide.
NFL teams are allowed up to 30 visits with out-of-town prospects before the draft. The purpose of those visits can vary -- from genuine interest, to a smokescreen, to a final medical check. Sometimes the visits can result in a player being ruled out by a team (e.g. if a player's interview or film work raises concerns about his ability to fit into a team's scheme).
In terms of need, the Patriots are well-stocked at receiver in 2009 with Randy Moss, Wes Welker, Joey Galloway and Greg Lewis atop the depth chart, but they might be projecting a longer-term need at the No. 3 receiver spot.