For a few hours yesterday morning, the Patriots explored the possibility of having Buckeye bookends in their linebacker corps, as they put Ohio State's Vernon Gholston through a private workout in Columbus, Ohio.
The 6-foot-3-inch, 266-pound Gholston is considered one of the top prospects available in next month's draft. Although he played mostly defensive end at Ohio State, he would project as an outside linebacker in the Patriots' 3-4 scheme, where he would likely line up opposite fellow Buckeye Mike Vrabel.
The Patriots, who have the seventh overall selection, schedule numerous private workouts leading up to the draft. The workouts don't necessarily indicate surefire interest, but it does reflect that more information is being sought before making a determination.
Gholston has impressed scouts in workouts at the NFL Combine last month, and at Ohio State's Pro Day this month. He totaled 37 repetitions on the 225-pound bench press at the combine, the most of any player at any position. He also ran the 40-yard dash in 4.58 seconds this month on Ohio State's campus, while posting a 42-inch vertical jump, according to NFL.com.
Gholston, who entered the draft after his junior season, is considered one of the premier pass rushers available. His 22 1/2 sacks rank fifth in Ohio State history.
The Buckeyes' all-time leader in sacks is Vrabel, who had 36 from 1993-96. At the combine, Gholston talked about how he enjoyed seeing Vrabel on campus.
Vrabel is inVrabel was voted a new member of the NFL Players Association's executive committee yesterday. The appointment came on the same day the union voted Titans center Kevin Mawae its president, replacing Troy Vincent, whose two-year term had concluded . . . The contract defensive lineman Mike Wright signed last Friday is a one-year, $1.417 million package. Wright was a restricted free agent . . . Of the players at Boston College's Pro Day Tuesday, offensive lineman Gosder Cherilus seemed to help himself the most, running the 40 in 5.06. Cherilus is projected as a late-first-round pick.
Mike Reiss can be reached at email@example.com