New England Patriots

NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA - JANUARY 01: Amari Rodgers #3 of the Clemson Tigers attempts to catch a pass over Lathan Ransom #12 of the Ohio State Buckeyes in the fourth quarter during the College Football Playoff semifinal game at the Allstate Sugar Bowl at Mercedes-Benz Superdome on January 01, 2021 in New Orleans, Louisiana. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

The Patriots continue to hold virtual pre-draft meetings with various prospects, particularly at wide receiver. Firmly on their radar is the top receiver for one of college football’s best teams.

As detailed in a new story by Jim McBride in the Boston Globe, Clemson receiver Amari Rodgers is a player that the Patriots have “kept tabs on,” already meeting with him multiple times ahead of the draft. Rodgers met with all 32 teams during his time at the Senior Bowl in January, and revealed to McBride that he recently met virtually with Patriots wide receivers coach Mick Lombardi.

Despite playing for an elite college program at Clemson and leading the Tigers in receiving as a senior, Rodgers is generally projected as a mid-round draft pick. Scouting reports note his relative lack of size (5-foot-10) and speed as factors that will limit his draft stock. But Rodgers is also a Patriots type of receiver prospect with his experience and acumen in the slot.

Don’t be surprised if the Patriots call Rodgers’ name in the third or fourth round when the 2021 NFL Draft comes around. But what if they went in a different direction at the position? Read below for Alex Barth’s first 2021 mock draft, where he has the Patriots selecting North Texas WR Jaelon Darden in the third.

MORE: 5 day-2 quarterbacks for the Patriots in the 2021 draft

Matt Dolloff is a writer and podcaster 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? Yell at him on Twitter @mattdolloff and follow him on Instagram @mattydsays. You can also email him at mdolloff@985thesportshub.com.