New England Patriots

It’s looking more and more like the Patriots will address their front-seven needs in the 2018 NFL Draft. And their next big prospect at the position could possibly come out of the University of Georgia.

Bill Belichick was on hand at Georgia’s Pro Day on Wednesday, reuniting with his former defensive coordinator Matt Patricia as they worked together with the linebackers in attendance. That is, they literally ran them through some drills, with Patricia handling the bags.

There are two intriguing linebacker prospects from Georgia who will be drafted high: Roquan Smith and Lorenzo Carter. Belichick and Patricia worked closely with both:

Roquan Smith has been compared to the Falcons’ Deion Jones for his ability to play all over the field and be effective in coverage – the exact kind of talent the Patriots could use at linebacker right now. But unfortunately, you’ll find several mock drafts that have Smith going as high as 10th overall to the Oakland Raiders, so it’s likely that Belichick would have to trade way up in the first round to have a chance to get him.

Lorenzo Carter is someone who would has a much better chance to land in New England. There may be interest in him late in the first round, in which case Belichick may be able to pull a Chandler Jones/Dont’a Hightower and trade up a few spots to nab him. He’s more of an outside ‘backer/edge rusher. But again, that’s a spot where the Patriots could stand to add more talent.

Other Georgia linebackers/edge rushers at Wednesday’s Pro Day were Davin Bellamy and Reggie Carter. However, both project as low-round picks that wouldn’t exactly transform the Patriots defense overnight. But Belichick clearly felt it was necessary to get his eyes on all of these prospects.

Belichick also looked at front-seven players when he visited N.C. State and South Carolina. So it’s becoming more clear by the day that reinforcements are coming in that area of the defense come April, whether it’s in the early rounds or late.

— By Matt Dolloff,

Matt Dolloff is a digital producer for Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Have a news tip, question, or comment for Matt? Follow him on Twitter @mattdolloff or email him at