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Conway: New England Patriots can't pass up Todd Gurley in first

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All 32 teams have packed up and left the NFL Scouting Combine full of adjustments to their big boards, and with the 2015 NFL Draft just over two months away, each franchise is getting set for a fast-moving few weeks as their rosters for next season start to take shape.

PATH TO THE DRAFT
(Weekdays at 6 p.m. ET on NFL Network)

"Path to the Draft" previews the 2016 NFL Draft by providing in-depth expert analysis of the top prospects and each teams' needs.

One team that will garner plenty of attention is the defending Super Bowl champions, the New England Patriots. While Bill Belichick and company hold the last pick in the first round, the Path to the Draft crew on NFL Network sees a scenario where the team could upgrade significantly with a college star who could turn into an All-Pro.

"I don't see how you pass up on Todd Gurley if he's there at 32," NFL Media analyst Curtis Conway said. "They may not go running back in the first round, I could see running back more in the second round for the Patriots. But if Gurley is sitting there at 32, you have to take him."

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Gurley might indeed be around when the Patriots pick in the first round because of concerns about his torn ACL. He did not go through a full medical battery of tests at the combine and will probably have to be rechecked by NFL doctors down the road. Even if everything checks out, it might be well into the 2015 season before he would able to contribute, something that might be fine for a team like New England but might not be worth a first-round pick for others.

If Belichick doesn't opt for a potential star at tailback -- or Gurley is long gone by No. 32 -- there could be a number of ways the team goes if they don't trade the pick and NFL Media analysts thinks a combine riser could be just what the team is looking for as they add weapons around Tom Brady.

"If they want to get creative at this whole thing and Gurley is not there and available, wide receiver Jaelen Strong showed that he moved himself into first round consideration at the combine," said Davis. "Big, strong, fast, physical."

As usual with the Patriots, they're most likely to zig when everybody expects them to zag in the draft, but names such as Gurley and Strong make a lot of sense if they opt to upgrade the offense.

You can follow Bryan Fischer on Twitter at @BryanDFischer.

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