By Matt Dolloff, 985TheSportsHub.com
With under a month to go until the NFL Draft, the Patriots continue to hold their annual top-30 meetings with highly touted prospects. The latest is a wide receiver, A.J. Brown out of Ole Miss.
According to James Palmer of the NFL Network, the Patriots are one of the teams that Brown has already met with ahead of the draft. He's also met with the Colts, Giants, and Eagles with more lined up in Buffalo and Green Bay. So if another team falls in love with Brown, the Patriots may be out of luck anyway.
Brown is one of the more highly touted receiver prospects in the 2019 NFL draft class. He's one of only four wideouts to get a grade over 6.0 at NFL.com, indicating an "instant starter". So there's a chance he goes in the first round and thus is off the board by the time the Pats pick at No. 32.
But if the Pats have a chance to take Brown at the end of the first, or trade up in the second, they'd find themselves a great fit. They seem to know this. Drawing comparisons to JuJu Smith-Schuster, he projects as a stout, tough inside receiver who runs good routes, shakes off tacklers after the catch, and blocks well when needed.
Still, drafting Brown with pick No. 32 would be unprecedented. The highest Belichick has ever drafted a receiver is Chad Jackson at No. 36 in the 2006 draft. That pick obviously didn't work out, but Deion Branch (65th overall in 2002) sure did.
Brown seems like a Patriots kind of receiver and Belichick clearly wanted a closer look. So if the Patriots call his name early in the draft, it would depart from the norm but shouldn't surprise.
Matt Dolloff is a digital producer for 985TheSportsHub.com. 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 [email protected].