Patriots: Austin, Mathieu, Hankins on wishlist

Tyrann Mathieu would fill a glaring need for New England.
Tyrann Mathieu would fill a glaring need for New England.

The Patriots have locked up their franchise quarterback for the next five years, and now it’s up to them to provide the talent around him to compete for a Super Bowl until the day he retires.

The easiest way to do that is to sign key free agents, something Tom Brady’s restructured contract allows the Pats to do a little easier. But it’s also important for the Patriots to balance out those proven veterans with young talent from the draft.
Here are three players whose NFL combine showing may interest the Patriots one way or another.

Tavon Austin – WR West Virginia
The biggest offseason story thus far surrounding the Patriots has been whether or not the Patriots will re-sign Wes Welker. Brady’s new deal makes that scenario more likely, but what if the two sides simply can’t agree? Enter Tavon Austin. The 5-foot-9, 178-pound receiver is lightning fast – he ran a 4.34 40-yard dash at the combine – and looks to be of filling Welker’s role (in time) at a fraction of the cost.
“Wes Welker, that’s the No. 1 guy,” Austin told reporters. “I see how Wes does it, I watch a lot of tape of him, and I think I move a little quicker and faster than Wes, so if he can do it, I know I can do it too.”


Tyrann Mathieu – CB LSU
Previously known as the “Honey Badger”, Tyrann Mathieu is one of this year’s biggest draft mysteries. Kicked off the LSU team prior to last season for failing multiple drug tests administered by LSU, and then arrested for misdemeanor marijuana possession on Oct. 25, 2012, Mathieu claims he’s finally over the marijuana addiction. He’s been to rehab, and has a sponsor, too. Can he be trusted, though? And at 5-foot-9, 186 pounds, is he big enough to be a cornerback in the NFL? We know Bill Belichick loves “football players” and “value,” and isn’t afraid to gamble on “character issues”. We also know the Pats need help in the secondary. This could be a perfect match.

Johnathan Hankins – DT Ohio State
Nobody is going to question whether Johnathan Hankins is big enough. The 6-foot-3, 320-pound nose tackle didn’t drop any jaws (that we know of) in his combine workouts, but the Patriots could be starting to look around for Vince Wilfork’s eventual replacement. Hankins is athletic for his size, and could be sitting there for New England near the end of the first round.

Follow Metro sports writer Jimmy Toscano on Twitter @jimmy_toscano


News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
Local

City Council budget asks for 1,000 additional NYPD…

Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito unveiled the City Council's budget priorities on Wednesday, including the extra cops for the NYPD at a cost of $94.3 million.

Local

Behind the costumes at the Brooklyn Cosplay Fashion…

Echo Chronum, 17, is a quiet and reserved Brooklyn high school student who often buries herself in her homework. But there is another side to…

Local

Reddit helps man locate missing mother in New…

The Reddit community helped Josh Goldberg find his missing mother on Tuesday.

National

Hamas, Abbas's PLO announce reconciliation agreement

The Gaza-based Islamist group Hamas and President Mahmoud Abbas's Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) agreed on Wednesday to a unity pact.

Television

TV watch list, Wednesday, April 23: 'Suburgatory,' 'Modern…

'Suburgatory' The men of "Suburgatory" go camping and Tessa mentors a social outcast in a Miss Chatswin contest, which brings her, once again, into conflict…

The Word

The best lines from Oprah's ex-stepmother's Daily Mail…

Oprah’s ex-stepmother, Barbara Winfrey, is out for revenge.

Books

A debut novel about fate, love and moving…

Pia Padukone talks about her debut novel, "Where Earth Meets Water."

Movies

Review: 'The Railway Man' is a literal-minded look…

In "The Railway Man," Colin Firth plays a WWII vet suffering from massive trauma acquired from his days as a beaten POW.

NBA

Phil Jackson talked to Steve Kerr, pushes for…

Knicks president Phil Jackson spoke to the media for the first time since firing head coach Mike Woodson on Monday.

MLB

Fantasy baseball: Searching for early season prospects

It’s relatively rare for a mediocre 30-year-old hitter to suddenly go nuts offensively for 162 games. That’s why minor league prospects are so exciting.

U.S. Soccer

NYCFC 'targeting' US international Mix Diskerud

Metro New York has learned Mix Diskerud has drawn “interest” from the expansion MLS side, NYCFC.

NFL

Jets announce they will return to Cortland for…

The tradition of holding camp in Cortland began in 2009 when Rex Ryan wanted to get his Jets away from the distractions of New York City.

Style

Pippa Middleton's Etsy pick: Golden Thread Jewelry

Get a look at the jewelry Pippa Middleton loves and find out how you can buy it too.

Parenting

What every parent needs to know to get…

Mom and author of "Small Talk," Tracey Blake, shares her five practical tips to help you develop your children's language skills.

Sex

Subway crush: Meet your soulmate on your commute

Read about a couple who has been 40 years after meeting on the train.

Tech

Happy birthday, Game Boy! The handheld console turns…

Nintendo's Game Boy turns 25 this week. To commemorate, we look at some of its better games, like "Tetris" and "The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening."