USC's McCoy added to tight end mix for Patriots?

March 20, 2010 - 7:54 am

Lots of tight end news lately around these parts: First, the Patriots lose Benjamin Watson in free agency and cut Chris Baker. They'€™ve worked out BYU'€™s Dennis Pitta, a finalist for the Mackey Award last season. Now, it appears they have reached an agreement with veteran Alge Crumpler, and, according to a league source, have expressed an interest in USC'€™s Anthony McCoy. McCoy is a 6-foot-5, 259-pounder who had 46 catches in three seasons with the Trojans. McCoy is known as having a fairly balanced game as a blocker and receiver, and he has shown an ability to generate good yardage in the passing game. He never was the consistent No. 1 option in the USC passing game but still managed to average nearly 21 yards a catch as a senior. (The unquestioned highlight of his college career came last season against Notre Dame when he had five receptions for 153 yards in a 34-27 win over the Irish.) A source indicates the Patriots plan to be at USC'€™s pro day in Southern California on March 31, and New England'€™s interest in McCoy makes sense of a number of levels. First, the Patriots are short on tight ends, and figure to add at least one in the draft. Second, it would elucidate the point made to me by former New England tight end Christian Fauria, who said earlier this week that New England frequently likes to pair a younger tight end with an older one '€” the combination of McCoy (22 years old) and Crumpler (32 years old) would certainly do that. Third, even though the Patriots utilize the tight end as more of a blocker than a pass-catcher, the combination of the two '€” Crumpler as a blocker and McCoy as a pass-catcher '€” would provide the Patriots offense with the ability to show two different looks at the position. And fourth, ESPN draft analyst Todd McShay seemed to intimate that while New England needs to add to the tight end position in the draft, the team's best value at that spot might come in the second round '€” and McCoy is slated as a second-round pickup in most mock drafts.