By Matt Dolloff, 985TheSportsHub.com
The Patriots continue to look deeply into the tight end class of the 2020 NFL Draft.
Thanks to a report by Justin Melo from SB Nation, you can add Cincinnati tight end Josiah Deguara to the list of prospects who reportedly met with the Patriots in some form before the draft. Deguara held a virtual meeting with 17 teams total.
Deguara’s draft profile at NFL.com grades him at 5.92, projecting him as a “backup/special teamer”. NFL.com draft analyst Lance Zierlein describes him in part as as “the type of Day 3 prospect who flies under the radar, but ends up becoming a solid contributor at H-back.” Last Word On Pro Football projects Deguara to go in rounds 4-5. (The Patriots currently have one pick each in the fourth and fifth rounds, to go with 12 other draft selections.)
Here’s a few of Deguara’s “strengths”, according to Zierlein. Belichick would love to read these.
– “Takes run-blocking duties to heart”
– “Monitors safeties and surveys spacing against zone”
– “Catches what is thrown at him and rarely has focus drop”
This year’s tight end group generally isn’t as highly regarded as others in recent years. But that doesn’t change the fact that the Pats have drafted just two tight ends since 2010, when they landed Rob Gronkowski at No. 42. Those two picks – Lee Smith in 2011 and Ryan Izzo in 2018 – came in the fifth and seventh rounds.
Bill Belichick has yet to make an aggressive move for the future at tight end since Gronkowski retired a year ago. He’s done that in the first round over the last two drafts at wide receiver (N’Keal Harry), offensive line (Isaiah Wynn), and running back (Sony Michel). Is it finally the tight ends’ turn?
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It doesn’t seem likely that their pick would come so high, since Notre Dame’s Cole Kmet appears to be the only tight end (if any) with real potential to be a first-round pick. But Belichick may have to maneuver around the board and land a pick somewhere between 23 and 87 in order to draft one of the top guys at the position.
The Patriots have reportedly met with at least eight tight ends in some form before the draft. Here’s the full list of prospects that look to be on their radar.
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@example.com.