By Alex Barth, 985TheSportsHub.com
Bill Belichick made headlines earlier in the week when he stopped in Murfreesboro, Tennessee for an individual workout with a player ahead of the combine.
While the workout itself, along with the pictures of Belichick in the driving rain are newsworthy in their own right, it's worth taking a look at Tyshun Render as a player since he's clearly on the Patriots' radar. Based on what one of his coaches told me when speaking after the workout, the 22-year-old defensive end is the kind of fit Bill Belichick tends to search out on Day 3 of the NFL Draft.
"Big Rend is a guy that you can throw on Tuesday practice tape in the dog days of the season and witness him on the backside of a play run the opposite direction from him and he would turn and bust his butt to make a “save the day” play. He consistently had effort that we would use as an example of how to play defensive football. Combine that with his physical attributes he’s got a chance to be great for somebody on Sundays. He grew a ton as a leader/person over the years I was with him and I enjoyed watching him work to become better."
Good size (6-foot-4, 256 pounds). Effort player. Growing as a leader. Render checks all the boxes of a hypothetical Patriot. His numbers aren't bad either. In 12 games (all starts), he posted 10 tackles for a loss and 3.5 sacks to go along with two forced fumbles and an interception.
Render was MTSU's Defensive Player of the Week six times, and won the team's "Grinder Award" for defensive linemen following spring practices. He put together one of his best games against elite competition, with seven tackles, a forced fumble, a fumble recovery and a pass breakup in the Blue Raiders' season opener against Michigan.
None of this guarantees Render will end up in New England, whether through the draft or as a UDFA. But given what he brings to the table, and with the Patriots set to lose significant talent off the edge this spring, it's not hard to see why Belichick took his detour through Murfreesboro.
Alex Barth is a writer and 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. Thoughts? Comments? Questions? Hate mail? Let him hear it on Twitter @RealAlexBarth or via email at [email protected].