The Patriots may use next month's NFL draft to find a partner for Leigh Bodden in the secondary.
According to WEEI.com, the Patriots worked out Northwestern cornerback Sherrick McManis on Tuesday, a sign that New England could be looking to upgrade its secondary depth.
The 5-foot-11, 195-pound McManis recorded 37 tackles in 10 games with Northwestern last year, earning the Huskies' defensive MVP award. McManis has played cornerback and returned kicks in his four-year collegiate career.
If he comes to New England, McManis would join Bodden, Darius Butler, Terrence Wheatley and Jonathan Wilhite as young pieces that could play major roles in the secondary for years to come.
In addition, McManis could replace Wes Welker's production on kick returns next season. The Northwestern cornerback has excelled on special teams, averaging 22 yards per kick return in his four seasons with the Wildcats.
McManis' stock fell after the cornerback missed three games due to leg injuries last season, causing several mock drafts to foresee McManis as a late-round pick.