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

Astoria minivan crash kills 1, injures 6: NYPD

Anthony Boyd, 45, died soon after what investigators believe was some sort of medical emergency as he drove his family through Astoria on Sunday afternoon.

Local

NYC pension funds valued at $160b: Scott Stringer

The five NYC pension funds that thousands of city employees contribute to saw its fifth year in a row of increased returns, up $23 billion from last year.

International

Sierra Leone Ebola patient, recovered from family, dies…

An Ebola patient whose family sparked a nationwide hunt when they forcefully removed her from a treatment center and took her to a traditional healer has died.

Local

VIDEO: Cop reassigned as NYPD investigates alleged head…

An officer alleged to have stomped on a Brooklyn man's head last week had his gun taken away and placed on modified duty.

Music

Newport Folk Festival: Photo gallery of 35 moments…

As has been the tradition since Bob Dylan plugged in a bajillion years ago, the Newport Folk Festival embraces more musical genres than its name implies.

Music

MKTO: Behind the bromance

MKTO's Malcolm Kelley and Tony Oller talk about the American Dream tour, Demi Lovato and getting turned down by girls.

Arts

James Earl Jones and Rose Byrne head to…

Two-time Tony winner James Earl Jones returns to the New York stage next month as an eccentric grandfather in a revival of the 1930s comedy…

Movies

Box office: Scarlett Johansson wins battle of brains…

Scarlett Johansson's "Lucy" handily dispatched with Dwayne Johnson's "Hercules" over the weekend.

MLB

Yankees looking to trade for Josh Willingham: Report

CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman reported Sunday the Yankees are interested in Twins outfielder Josh Willingham.

MLB

Joe Torre: I'm in Hall of Fame because…

Joe Torre spent 18 years putting together a near Hall of Fame career as a player. But it was the 12 years he spent as…

MLB

Yankees GM Brian Cashman breaks down art of…

The action frequently accelerates as the non-waiver trade deadline approaches, as it will on Thursday.

Auto racing

Jeff Gordon captures fifth title at Brickyard 400

Jeff Gordon captures fifth title at Brickyard 400

Tech

Amazon offers 3D printing to customize earrings, bobble…

By Deepa SeetharamanSAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Amazon.com Inc will offer 3D printing services that allow customers to customize and build earrings, bobble head toys and…

Wellbeing

This Week In Health: Friends share similar DNA,…

Friends share similar DNA, study finds Location: U.S. Study subjects: Nearly 2,000 people Results: When it comes to our social networks, it seems that birds of…

Education

Are liberal arts colleges turning away from the…

Bryn Mawr College, a small women's college located just outside of Philadelphia, announced last week that it would be making standardized tests like the SAT…

Education

Recent grads discover school superintendent plagiarized parts of…

  Two recent high school graduates made a surprising discovery about the commencement speech their school superintendent delivered at their graduation: portions of it was copied…