Patriots among clubs taking closer look at Trae Waynes

Add the defending Super Bowl champions to the list of teams that have held a pre-draft workout with Michigan State's Trae Waynes. The question is, just how could the New England Patriots add the draft's top cornerback to their roster?

Waynes confirmed to the Detroit Free Press that the Patriots evaluated him during a group workout, and that he had an individual workout with the Carolina Panthers. He has also scheduled April visits with the Minnesota Vikings, Chicago Bears and Jacksonville Jaguars.

The free-agency losses of Darrelle Revis and Brandon Browner have made the cornerback position a clear need for New England. But if mock-draft projections that have Waynes being drafted anywhere from the Bears at No. 7 to No. 14 overall (Miami Dolphins) are on target, coach Bill Belichick would need to make a significant trade to move up high enough to land him. Of course, given that Waynes was only part of a group workout for the Patriots, it's possible the club was looking more closely at any number of Michigan State draft candidates, including running back Jeremy Langford, wide receiver Tony Lippett or safety Kurtis Drummond.

Still, the importance Belichick places on the cornerback position can't be understated.

Waynes went a long way toward solidifying himself as the draft's top cornerback by running a 4.31-second 40-yard dash, the fastest of all the cornerbacks at the NFL Scouting Combine and second-fastest overall, behind a 4.28 by J.J. Nelson of UAB.

*Follow Chase Goodbread on Twitter **@ChaseGoodbread*.

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