Patriots officials have spent much of the offseason scouting defensive prospects in preparation for next month?s NFL draft, and according to NationalFootballPost.com, the Patriots have had their eyes on Indiana University linebacker Matt Mayberry.
The middle linebacker held a private workout for the Patriots on March 19 in Bloomington, Ind. The 6-foot-2, 237-pound Mayberry posted 251 total tackles and 10 1/2 sacks in four seasons with the Hoosiers.
Mayberry's best asset may be his speed: He ran a 4.57 40-yard dash at Indiana's pro day earlier this month. However, the former Hoosier has always been quick on his feet, Patriots Daily reports.
"Oh, I've always been fast. In high school, I went to combines and stuff like that, I was running 4.3s," Mayberry told the Daily. "I've always been fast. That's something that I train — that goes into my training program. You know, speed kills in the NFL, college, really at any level, so it's something I always took to heart. I'm always trying to get faster."
Mayberry played 12 games at middle linebacker last season, and he could provide the Patriots with a speedy linebacker to pair with Jerod Mayo. Mayberry, like Mayo, is a student of the game, and tries to find new ways to improve.
"I always think, as a linebacker, you can always study and always try to work on every part of your game," Mayberry said. "No matter how fast you are, you never want to take a false step because football's a game of inches. So I really think, you know, just keep on working on footwork and studying film, and really just all areas of my game could get better."
The Patriots could face competition for Mayberry's services as the linebacker was scheduled to take a physical with the Chicago Bears on March 22.