New England Patriots

Sep 26, 2021; Foxborough, Massachusetts, USA; New England Patriots helmet during the game against New Orleans Saints during the first half at Gillette Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports

The Patriots have had representatives in seemingly every corner of the country for this year’s Pro Day circuit. From Alabama to Texas to Pennsylvania to Idaho, they’ve been busy.

However, their most recent Pro Day trip was a little more manageable. As shared by Dave Peck of FoxABC Maine, the Patriots had an unidentified scout present at Maine’s Pro Day in Orono on Monday.

Maine had nine players work out on Monday, highlighted by all-conference wide receiver Andre Miller. Miller is a big body possession receiver. He ran a 4.53 40 at 6-foot-2, 224 pounds.

Other players taking part in the workout were offensive lineman PJ Barr, linebacker Ray Miller, and defensive backs Katley Joseph and Shaquille St-Lot. Four former Maine players also participated as a chance to get in front of NFL scouts, which isn’t uncommon to see at Pro Days especially at smaller schools. That group was made up of wide receiver Jaquan Blair, linebackers Taji Lowe and DeShawn Stevens, and running back Joe Fitzpatrick.

The Black Bears have produced NFL talent over the last few years. Their most notable alumni in the league right now is hybrid fullback and defensive end Patrick Ricard, who just signed a three-year extension with the Baltimore Ravens.

Under Bill Belichick, the Patriots have brought in multiple players from Maine. Safety Brandon McGowan started 11 games for the team in 2009. Tight end Matthew Mulligan played 15 games in 2013, and caught a touchdown pass. Linebacker Trevor Bates spent two seaons with the Patriots’ practice squad and has a ring from Super Bowl LI.

Other Pro Day breakdowns

Georgia
Alabama
Penn State
Florida
Maryland
Houston/Rice
Boise State
Tulsa
Western Kentucky

Bill Belichick in attendance at highly anticipated Pro Day

  • Georgia’s 2022 Pro Day isn’t just one of the most anticipated of this draft cycle, but perhaps among the most in recent memory. The defending National Champion Bulldogs are currently projected to have 12 picks in the top 100, most of them from the team’s record-setting defense.

    There’s been a number of players from Georgia linked to the Patriots in this draft cycle. Now, that speculation should only ramp up after Bill Belichick, Matt Patricia, and Matt Groh were in attendance for the workouts. That trio represents arguably the Patriots’ three biggest decision-makers.

    In recent years, Belichick has drawn heavily from the Georgia program. The Patriots took two Bulldogs in the first round in 2018 in tackle Isaiah Wynn and running back Sony Michel. There was also a Georgia product among the team’s captains last year in center David Andrews, who was signed as a UDFA in 2015.

    Who could be joining the Athens-to-Foxborough pipeline in 2022? Here’s a look at the (long) list of Georgia’s top prospects in the upcoming 2022 NFL Draft…

  • DL Jordan Davis

    Nov 27, 2021; Atlanta, Georgia, USA; Georgia Bulldogs defensive lineman Jordan Davis (99) in action against the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets in the second quarter at Bobby Dodd Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

    Davis was the star of the NFL Combine after crushing the physical testing – including a 4.78 second 40 – at 6-foot-6, 341 pounds. While some have speculated that he could fall in the draft as teams devalue the nose tackle position, his Combine showed what his tape suggested – that he is more than just a two-down player. As the draft approaches it feels less and less likely he’ll be there when the Patriots pick at 21st overall, but it’s not impossible.

  • DE Travon Walker

    ATHENS, GA – NOVEMBER 06: Travon Walker #44 of the Georgia Bulldogs sacks Tyler Macon #10 of the Missouri Tigers in the second half at Sanford Stadium on November 6, 2021 in Athens, Georgia. (Photo by Todd Kirkland/Getty Images)

    Walker is another elite athlete who ran a 4.51 40 at 6-foot-5, 272 pounds. He’s the kind of edge defender the Patriots tend to look for, especially given what he can do against the run. Like Davis, it’s a longshot he’s on the board at 21.

  • LB Nakobe Dean

    ATHENS, GA – OCTOBER 02: Nakobe Dean #17 of the Georgia Bulldogs reacts in the second half against the Arkansas Razorbacks at Sanford Stadium on October 2, 2021 in Athens, Georgia. (Photo by Todd Kirkland/Getty Images)

    Dean is one of the more intriguing first round players in this draft. He’s already shown NFL-level talent, great football instincts and IQ, and is a tremendous athlete. Yet as a 5-foot-11, 229 pound middle linebacker, hits fits in terms of NFL teams may be limited to specific schemes. That could cause him to fall in the draft, but at the same time if a team that is a fit likes him, he could be a top 20 talent.

    When it comes to the Patriots – who are looking for more athletic linebackers – Dean certainly checks some boxes. Yet to go from 260 pound linebackers to 230 pound linebackers would be quite the jump and may require some schematic changes to the defense. For instance, based on the current scheme Dean is built more like a Patriots’ safety. For reference, Kyle Dugger is 6-foot-2, 225 pounds.

  • DE Devonte Wyatt

    NASHVILLE, TN – SEPTEMBER 25: Devonte Wyatt #95 of the Georgia Bulldogs celebrates against the Vanderbilt Commodores during the first quarter at Vanderbilt Stadium on September 25, 2021 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Brett Carlsen/Getty Images)

    Another star of the Bulldogs’ defensive line, Wyatt is a disruptive defensive tackle that can create pressure up the middle. At 6-foot-3, 304 pounds, he could likely play as a 3-4 end as well. He’s currently projected to go in the second half of the first round.

  • S Lewis Cine

    Jan 10, 2022; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Georgia Bulldogs defensive back Lewis Cine (16) against the Alabama Crimson Tide in the 2022 CFP college football national championship game at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

    On one hand, Cine is the kind of physical box safety that the Patriots tend to target. On the other hand, would they use a premium add to that position with two established starters already in place in Dugger and Adrian Phillips? Cine is currently projected to be a second-round pick. Cine has local ties – he played his first three years of high school football at Everett High and was named Massachusetts Defensive Player of the Year in 2017.

  • WR George Pickens

    ATLANTA, GEORGIA – JANUARY 01: George Pickens #1 of the Georgia Bulldogs makes a catch for a first quarter touchdown against Bryan Cook #6 of of the Cincinnati Bearcats during Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl at Mercedes-Benz Stadium on January 01, 2021 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Scott Cunningham /Getty Images)

    Pickens is Georgia’s top offensive player in this class. He’s struggled with injuries and played just 12 games over the last two years. Still, when he’s been on the field he’s been a productive deep threat averaging 15 yards per catch and 14 career touchdowns on just 90 catches.

    If the Patriots are looking for a replacement for Nelson Agholor, he could make sense in the second round – assuming everything checks out medically. At the same time, if the injuries cause him to fall he could find himself in a situation similar to a former Georgia Bulldog receiver, Malcolm Mitchell.

  • LB Quay Walker

    Michigan quarterback J.J. McCarthy is sacked by Georgia linebacker Quay Walker during the second half of U-M’s 34-11 loss in the Orange Bowl on Friday, Dec. 31, 2021, in Miami Gardens, Florida.

    While many Patriots fans have focused on Dean, Walker may be the best overall fit for the Patriots not just at linebacker, but of any player off the Georgia defense this year. At 6-foot-4, 241 pounds he has the build to handle the downhill responsibilities that come with the inside linebacker role in New England, but has the athleticism to move sideline-to-sideline as well. He’s currently projected to be a Day 2 pick.

  • CB Derion Kendrick

    A pass to Tennessee wide receiver Cedric Tillman (4) in the end zone is broken up by Georgia defensive back Derion Kendrick (11) and Georgia defensive back Lewis Cine (16) during an SEC football game between Tennessee and Georgia at Neyland Stadium in Knoxville, Tenn. on Saturday, Nov. 13, 2021.

    The lone corner in Georgia’s draft class this year, Kendrick could end up getting some attention from the Patriots who have a need at the position. Kendrick possesses two non-football traits that the Patriots have valued in the past – he’s a converted wide receiver and a transfer player who began his career at Clemson. Between those the two schools, he has a ton of big game experience. On the field, he’s a ball-hawking primarily boundary zone player who will contribute against the run. However, his skillset is still very raw. He’s projected to be a late third or early fourth round pick.

  • OL Jamaree Salyer

    Dec 12, 2020; Columbia, Missouri, USA; Georgia Bulldogs offensive lineman Jamaree Salyer (69) gets ready to block against the Missouri Tigers during the first half at Faurot Field at Memorial Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports

    Salyer was a tackle for the Bulldogs, but could move inside to guard at the next level. The Patriots generally value that kind of versatility in Day 3 offensive linemen, and will also like how well he played in the CFB semifinal game against Michigan’s first-round pass rushing duo of Aidan Hutchinson and David Ojabo.

  • RB James Cook

    ATHENS, GA – SEPTEMBER 18: James Cook #4 of the Georgia Bulldogs rushes during the first half against the South Carolina Gamecocks at Sanford Stadium on September 18, 2021 in Athens, Georgia. (Photo by Todd Kirkland/Getty Images)

    Cook is one of the best all-around backs in this class. He totaled over 1,000 all-purpose yards for the Bulldogs last year in a receiving back role. The Patriots did bring back 30-year-old James White in free agency, but if they want to invest in a long-term third down back while giving that player time to develop, Cook would make a lot of sense early on Day 3.

  • LB Channing Tindall

    Jan 10, 2022; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Georgia Bulldogs linebacker Channing Tindall (41) against the Alabama Crimson Tide in the 2022 CFP college football national championship game at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

    Tindall is somewhere between Dean and Walker in terms of both size and skillset. In a strong linebacker class, there’s a chance he falls as somewhat of a ‘tweener’ but is currently projected to go late on Day 2 or early on Day 3.

  • Zamir White

    Nov 20, 2021; Athens, Georgia, USA; Georgia Bulldogs running back Zamir White (3) runs for a touchdown against the Charleston Southern Buccaneers during the first quarter at Sanford Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

    While Cook was the Bulldogs’ multi-purpose back, White did most of the downhill running. He was also a team captain in 2021. For the short term, the Patriots are set on early down backs with the combination of Damien Harris and Rhamondre Stevenson. At the same time, they’ve taken a running back in three of the last four drafts. White is in that late Day 2 to early Day 3 range.

  • G Justin Shaffer

    Sep 11, 2021; Athens, Georgia, USA; Georgia Bulldogs offensive lineman Justin Shaffer (54) in action against the UAB Blazers at Sanford Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

    Moving down the draft board now, Shaffer is a project player expected to go in the fifth or sixth round. At 6-foot-4, 314 pounds he plays with a mean streak, but will need to sure up his technique at the next level.

  • P Jake Camarda

    Nov 23, 2019; Athens, GA, USA; Georgia Bulldogs punter Jake Camarda (90) follows through on a punt against the Texas A&M Aggies during the second half at Sanford Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

    Yes, even Georgia’s punter is projected to be drafted. Camarda is currently a projected seventh-round pick in what is a strong punter class.

  • TE John FitzPatrick

    ATLANTA, GEORGIA – JANUARY 01: Tight end John Fitzpatrick #86 of the Georgia Bulldogs runs with the ball after making a reception during the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl against the Cincinnati Bearcats at Mercedes-Benz Stadium on January 01, 2021 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Mike Zarrilli/Getty Images)

    FitzPatrick was primarily a blocking tight end for Georgia in 2021 at 6-foot-7, 250 pounds. The Patriots don’t have a need at tight end, but his size could make him valuable as a practice squad player. As a projected UDFA it would likely only cost the Pats a roster spot to bring him.

Who are the Patriots watching at the Alabama Pro Day?

  • One of the biggest days of the pre-draft process is upon us. Wednesday is Alabama’s Pro Day, when personnel executives from all 32 NFL teams will get a close look as the players set to head from Tuscaloosa to the pros.

    This is an especially notable event for the Patriots. Since 2010, the Patriots have drafted eight players from Alabama – more than any other team in the NFL. They’ve also drafted more players from Alabama than any other school in that span, taking no more than six from any other program (you can find a full list of their favorite schools here).

    Six of those eight picks – including all of the last five – were made in the top 100. The Patriots don’t just turn to Alabama for talent, but for impact talent. That push has ramped up recently, with four Alabama picks in the last three years – including their first two picks last year in Mac Jones and Christian Barmore. Damien Harris (2019 3rd round) and Anfernee Jennings (2020 3rd round) are the other two.

    From their immense success on the field to Bill Belichick’s relationship with Nick Saban, there’s a lot to draw New England to the program. So, who might he look to add this year? Here’s a rundown of the draft targets and top projected UDFA’s in this year’s Alabama draft class.

    Note: Alabama’s Pro Day is so expansive, it’s split into two sessions. The majority of the players listed below will work out on Wednesday, but a handful will take part in the second Pro Day on April 13. 

  • T Evan Neal

    Sep 18, 2021; Gainesville, Florida, USA; Alabama Crimson Tide offensive lineman Evan Neal (73) against the Florida Gators at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

    Sep 18, 2021; Gainesville, Florida, USA; Alabama Crimson Tide offensive lineman Evan Neal (73) against the Florida Gators at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

    Neal is arguably the top offensive lineman in this year’s class, and is in the running to be the first overall pick. It would take something wild for him to end up with the Patriots.

  • WR Jameson Williams

    Sep 4, 2021; Atlanta, Georgia, USA; Alabama Crimson Tide wide receiver Jameson Williams (1) reacts as he scores on a long touchdown pass against the Miami Hurricanes during the second half at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

    Sep 4, 2021; Atlanta, Georgia, USA; Alabama Crimson Tide wide receiver Jameson Williams (1) reacts as he scores on a long touchdown pass against the Miami Hurricanes during the second half at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

    Had Williams finished the 2021 season healthy, he’d be right there with Neal in the ‘untouchable’ category as the top receiver in this class and a likely top 10 overall pick. However, a torn ACL in the National Championship now has his stock slipping to the middle of the first round. Still, when healthy he is a 6-foot-2 burner who runs precise routes and elusive with the ball in his hands.

    It’s possible he falls to 21 if receiver-needy teams are focused on immediate impact, but his immense ceiling makes it seem likely a team will take a chance on him in the top 20 – especially given how many teams have multiple picks in that range.

  • LB Christian Harris

    Jan 10, 2022; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Georgia Bulldogs quarterback Stetson Bennett (13) is pressured by Alabama Crimson Tide linebacker Christian Harris (8) in the fourth quarter during the 2022 CFP college football national championship game at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Marc Lebryk-USA TODAY Sports

    Harris is one of a number of rangy middle linebackers expected to go on Day 2 of this year’s draft. He’s towards the top of that group that also includes Chad Muma, Quay Walker, Leo Chenal, and Troy Anderson, and could end up being a top-50 pick. At 6-foot, 226 pounds he’s undersized compared to the typical Patriots linebackers, but if they’re truly committed to fielding a faster zone-based defense, Harris would be a great fit in that transition.

  • DL Phidarian Mathis

    Alabama defensive lineman Phidarian Mathis (48) tackles Cincinnati running back Jerome Ford (24) in the 2021 College Football Playoff Semifinal game at the 86th Cotton Bowl in AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas Friday, Dec. 31, 2021. [Staff Photo/Gary Cosby Jr.]  College Football Playoffs Alabama Vs Cincinnati

    Alabama defensive lineman Phidarian Mathis (48) tackles Cincinnati running back Jerome Ford (24) in the 2021 College Football Playoff Semifinal game at the 86th Cotton Bowl in AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas Friday, Dec. 31, 2021. [Staff Photo/Gary Cosby Jr.]

    A captain for the Tide in 2021, Mathis helped fill the hole left on the defensive line by Christian Barmore’s departure. Like Barmore, Mathis wins more with athleticism than mass (6-foot-4, 210 pounds). He’s more of a run stopper than pass rusher, but isn’t a liability as an interior rusher on early downs and can push the pocket from the interior when needed.

    Mathis has the versatility to play all along the defensive line, a trait the Patriots have valued highly. Pairing Mathis with Barmore could create some interesting athletic mismatches up front. Mathis is currently projected to be a late second or early third round pick.

  • WR John Metchie

    TUSCALOOSA, ALABAMA - NOVEMBER 06:  John Metchie III #8 of the Alabama Crimson Tide pulls in this touchdown reception against the LSU Tigers during the first half at Bryant-Denny Stadium on November 06, 2021 in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

    TUSCALOOSA, ALABAMA – NOVEMBER 06: John Metchie III #8 of the Alabama Crimson Tide pulls in this touchdown reception against the LSU Tigers during the first half at Bryant-Denny Stadium on November 06, 2021 in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

    One of the most interesting prospects on this list, it feels just as likely Metchie could go at the end of the first round as it does he could go early in the third. A torn ACL in the SEC Championship Game hurt his draft stock, but recent reports and workout videos suggest he could miss minimal time this upcoming season.

    While he doesn’t have the upside of Jameson Williams, Metchie still projects to be one of the best receivers in this draft if he hits his ceiling. His skillset would be well-suited to the Patriots’ offense – he’s a technician as a route runner and can line up both outside and in the slot. Once he separates, his speed makes him a threat after the catch, especially at the short and intermediate levels.

    On top of all of that, Metchie has experience working with Mac Jones. During Jones’ lone full season as Alabama’s starting quarterback, Metchie posted 55 catches for 916 yards and six touchdowns as the team’s second receiver playing opposite Hesiman winner DeVonta Smith.

  • RB Brian Robinson

    TUSCALOOSA, ALABAMA - OCTOBER 23: Brian Robinson Jr. #4 of the Alabama Crimson Tide carries the ball against Tennessee Volunteers in the first half at Bryant Denny Stadium on October 23, 2021 in Tuscaloosa, Alabama (Photo by Marvin Gentry/Getty Images )

    TUSCALOOSA, ALABAMA – OCTOBER 23: Brian Robinson Jr. #4 of the Alabama Crimson Tide carries the ball against Tennessee Volunteers in the first half at Bryant Denny Stadium on October 23, 2021 in Tuscaloosa, Alabama (Photo by Marvin Gentry/Getty Images )

    Robinson is one of the more well-rounded backs in this class. He can contribute as a ball carrier, a receiver, and as a blocker. In 2021, he put up 1,639 all-purpose yards with 16 touchdowns as the Tide’s feature back.

    If the Patriots are looking to add depth at the position and don’t mind making a top-150 investment, Robinson would make a lot of sense as a target early on Day 3. He could be both an early-down back or pass-catching back in their system, similar to the role Rex Burkhead had during his time in Foxborough.

  • CB Josh Jobe

    Sep 18, 2021; Gainesville, Florida, USA; Alabama Crimson Tide defensive back Josh Jobe (28) against the Florida Gators at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

    In a draft that’s not incredibly deep when it comes to outside corners, Jobe stands out as a strong option right around the 100th pick. Jobe was incredibly productive as a junior in 2020, leading the SEC with 11 pass breakups. However, he was more inconsistent in 2021.

    Part of the reason Jobe – who began the year as a projected top-50 pick – may fall this far is lack of scheme versatility. He played almost exclusively press man corner at Alabama, and may translate better as a safety in other schemes. However, the Patriots would likely have him playing press man, so they may see his slide as a chance for a value pick. There’s other parts of Jobe’s game the Patriots may like including his overall physicality, willingness as a tackler, and special teams experience.

  • CB Jalyn Armour-Davis

    Alabama Crimson Tide defensive back Jalyn Armour-Davis (5) breaks up a pass intended for Florida Gators wide receiver Justin Shorter (4) in the first half. Florida Gators played their first SEC game against Alabama at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium Saturday afternoon, September 18, 2021, in Gainesville, FL. [Doug Engle/Gainesville Sun]

    Alabama Crimson Tide defensive back Jalyn Armour-Davis (5) breaks up a pass intended for Florida Gators wide receiver Justin Shorter (4) in the first half. Florida Gators played their first SEC game against Alabama at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium Saturday afternoon, September 18, 2021, in Gainesville, FL. [Doug Engle/Gainesville Sun]

    Alabama’s other outside corner, Armour-Davis doesn’t have the multi-year starting experience Jobe does but may be the higher-upside option of the two players. He’s bigger than Jobe at 6-foot-1, 197 pounds, and ran an impressive 4.39 40 at the Combine.

    Like Jobe (and most Alabama cornerbacks for that matter) he’s a willing tackler who can contribute on special teams as well as defense. Projected to go in the fifth round, he seems like a logical fit with a Patriots team that has done a great job developing technically raw an inexperienced cornerbacks over the years. He’d make a lot of sense as a Day 3 pick, especially if the team elects to double-dip at the position.

  • DL LaBryan Ray

    TUSCALOOSA, ALABAMA – OCTOBER 23: LaBryan Ray #18 of the Alabama Crimson Tide reaches for Hendon Hooker #5 of the Tennessee Volunteers in the first half at Bryant Denny Stadium on October 23, 2021 in Tuscaloosa, Alabama (Photo by Marvin Gentry/Getty Images)

    Ray is another athletic and versatile defensive lineman. He wasn’t quite as productive as Mathis, and dealt with some injuries issues during his collegiate career which resulted in him playing just two full seasons. Yet when on the field he’s shown some upside as an edge setter and interior pass rusher, and like Mathis would be an interesting complement to Barmore. He’s currently projected to go late on Day 3.

  • Slade Bolden

    INDIANAPOLIS, INDIANA - JANUARY 10: Slade Bolden #18 of the Alabama Crimson Tide carries the ball after a reception during the second quarter of the game against the Georgia Bulldogs during the 2022 CFP National Championship Game at Lucas Oil Stadium on January 10, 2022 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Emilee Chinn/Getty Images)

    INDIANAPOLIS, INDIANA – JANUARY 10: Slade Bolden #18 of the Alabama Crimson Tide carries the ball after a reception during the second quarter of the game against the Georgia Bulldogs during the 2022 CFP National Championship Game at Lucas Oil Stadium on January 10, 2022 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Emilee Chinn/Getty Images)

    Mac Jones’ former roommate, Bolden is a converted quarterback that played slot receiver for the Tide in 2021. At that spot, he’s able to get himself open in the short and intermediate areas of the field, and picks up yards after the catch with an aggressive running style. He also contributed on special teams. A projected seventh-round pick or priority UDFA, he’d be a logical replacement for Gunner Olszewski, who is now in Pittsburgh.

  • OLB Christopher Allen

    Oct 31, 2020; Tuscaloosa, Alabama, USA; Alabama linebacker Christopher Allen (4) sacks Mississippi State quarterback Will Rogers (2) for a loss at Bryant-Denny Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Gary Cosby Jr/The Tuscaloosa News via USA TODAY Sports

    Oct 31, 2020; Tuscaloosa, Alabama, USA; Alabama linebacker Christopher Allen (4) sacks Mississippi State quarterback Will Rogers (2) for a loss at Bryant-Denny Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Gary Cosby Jr/The Tuscaloosa News via USA TODAY Sports

    Injuries limited Allen to just 19 games in five seasons at Alabama. When he was on the field though he was a force, with 13 tackles for a loss including six sacks in 11 games in 2020 – his only full season. He’s raw, but could make sense as a low-risk, high-upside player in the seventh round or as a UDFA.

  • OL Chris Owens

    Sep 18, 2021; Gainesville, Florida, USA; Alabama Crimson Tide offensive lineman Chris Owens (79) against the Florida Gators at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

    A six-year player and three-year starter who’s played guard tackle and center, Owens’ experience, versatility, and size (6-foot-3, 315 pounds) make him a logical fit for the Patriots. He projects best to guard in the NFL, but can realistically offer depth across the offensive line. He’s currently projected to be a UDFA.

  • S Daniel Wright

    Jan 10, 2022; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Alabama Crimson Tide defensive back Daniel Wright (3) against the Georgia Bulldogs in the 2022 CFP college football national championship game at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

    Jan 10, 2022; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Alabama Crimson Tide defensive back Daniel Wright (3) against the Georgia Bulldogs in the 2022 CFP college football national championship game at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

    Wright arrived at Alabama as a four-star recruit in 2017, but injuries kept him off the field early in his career. He started seeing more playing time in 2020 and played 26 games over the last two years mainly in a reserve role. As a projected UDFA, he’ll look to stick on a roster as a backup free safety and special teams contributor.

  • Other Pro Day breakdowns

    Georgia
    Penn State
    Florida
    Tulsa

New Patriots player personnel director begins Pro Day circuit

  • With all of the changes to the Patriots’ coaching staff, it’s easy to forget there was a major change in the team’s front office too. Former director of player personnel Dave Ziegler left to be the new general manager of the Las Vegas Raiders, with Matt Groh taking his spot in New England.

    Director of player personnel is a key role in the NFL corporates flow chart. The job is basically an assistant GM and covers everything from internal contracts to free agency and the draft.

    Unlike Ziegler, who’s background was mainly working at the pro personnel level, Groh comes from the scouting ranks. He was reportedly heavily involved in the Patriots’ draft process last year, and there’s no reason to think that will change in 2022.

    In fact, Groh was out scouting himself this week as the Pro Day circuit began. According to Pro Football Network’s Aaron Wilson, Groh was in Oklahoma to watch workouts at Tulsa Thursday and Friday.

    Although Tulsa doesn’t have many players in the draft this year, those that did work out play positions of need for the Patriots. Will any of them catch Groh’s attention and end up in Foxborough this spring?

  • OT Tyler Smith

    Oct 3, 2020; Orlando, Florida, USA; Tulsa Golden Hurricane offensive tackle Tyler Smith (56) guards during the second quarter of a game against the UCF Knights at Spectrum Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mary Holt-USA TODAY Sports

    Smith has all of the size the Patriots look for at tackle at 6-foot-5, 324 pounds and he plays the game with a nasty edge. He’s still raw technically though and is seen as a high-ceiling, low-floor prospect. By showing positional versatility – either as a swing tackle or as a combo tackle/guard – he could increase his draft stock which projects to be a late Day 2 pick. If the Patriots are satisfied with their tackle situation for 2022 but want a long-term project player with upside, he could be a fit.

  • IOL Chris Paul

    Nov 14, 2020; Tulsa, Oklahoma, USA; Tulsa Golden Hurricane offensive lineman Chris Paul (71) blocks Southern Methodist Mustangs defensive back Cam Jones (2) during the game at Skelly Field at H.A. Chapman Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brett Rojo-USA TODAY Sports

    Paul is one of the more intriguing offensive line prospects on Day 3 of the draft. A Senior Bowl participant, he played both tackle and guard in college, and has the strong football IQ you’d expect from a player that moves around that much. A four-year starter, his high motor helped overshadow some of his more technical shortcomings, which will need to be fixed at the next level. Those who covered him at Tulsa also rave about him as a positive locker room presence and academic standout. Football isn’t his only passion – he also produced an EP Roads under the stage name The Seventh.

  • WR Josh Johnson

    Sep 11, 2021; Stillwater, Oklahoma, USA; Tulsa Golden Hurricane wide receiver Josh Johnson (4) runs with the ball after a reception during the fourth quarter against the Oklahoma State Cowboys at Boone Pickens Stadium. The Cowboys won 28-23. Mandatory Credit: Brett Rojo-USA TODAY Sports

    A Iowa State transfer, Johnson had a breakout year for Tulsa in 2021 catching 82 passes for 1,087 yards and six touchdowns. That included an eight-catch, 148-yard performance against Ohio State. He didn’t run the 40 at the Combine, but is expected to be one of the faster receivers in this class and wins mostly with his speed. Johnson is currently projected to be a priority UDFA.

  • CB Travon Fuller

    Sep 18, 2021; Columbus, Ohio, USA; Tulsa Golden Hurricane cornerback Travon Fuller (2) intercepts a pass intended for Ohio State Buckeyes tight end Jeremy Ruckert (88) during the second quarter at Ohio Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Joseph Maiorana-USA TODAY Sports

    Fuller transferred to Tulsa from Texas A&M in 2021 and played a starting role for the Golden Hurricane. In 13 games he intercepted three passes – including one against Ohio State – while deflecting nine more and forcing a fumble. A bigger corner at 6-foot-1, 180 pounds, he also contributed in the running game and recorded4.5 tackles for a loss. He’s currently projected to go undrafted.

  • Looking ahead

    Remember, this is just one Pro Day over the course of about a month-long stretch. There’s still a ways to go, so we’ll keep an eye out for where Groh or other Patriots’ decision makers are spotted as things move ahead. Notable Pro Days next week include Georgia (Wednesday), Clemson (Thursday), and Michigan (Friday).

Patriots director of scouting attends Pro Day of record-breaking prospects

  • It’s been a busy week for the Patriots, as college Pro Days wind down. They had staffers in Florida to begin the week, followed by a big trip to Alabama with a contingent highlighted by Bill Belichick and Matt Groh on Wednesday. While that was going on, assistant coach Ross Douglas continued his work with wide receivers at Boise State.

    On Thursday, it was newly-named director of scouting Eliot Wolf in the spotlight at the day’s most notable workout. According to Jim Nagy of the Senior Bowl, Wolf was one of the top executives spotted at Western Kentucky’s Pro Day.

    Despite not having any projected Day 1 or Day 2 picks, there were still some notable names working out in Bowling Green. That list is highlighted by a player that just broke a number of notable NCAA single-season records. Here’s a quick rundown of who Wolf saw on Thursday…

  • QB Bailey Zappe

    BOCA RATON, FLORIDA - DECEMBER 18: Bailey Zappe #4 of the Western Kentucky Hilltoppers looks to pass against the Appalachian State Mountaineers during the first half of the RoofClaim.com Boca Raton Bowl at FAU Stadium on December 18, 2021 in Boca Raton, Florida. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)

    BOCA RATON, FLORIDA – DECEMBER 18: Bailey Zappe #4 of the Western Kentucky Hilltoppers looks to pass against the Appalachian State Mountaineers during the first half of the RoofClaim.com Boca Raton Bowl at FAU Stadium on December 18, 2021 in Boca Raton, Florida. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)

    Zappe transferred to Western Kentucky from FCS Houston Baptist before the 2021 season, and rewrote the FBS record books upon his arrival. He threw for 5,967 yards and 62 touchdowns, surpassing the previous marks set by Joe Burrow in 2019.

    A five-year starter between two schools, Zappe is one of the most experienced passers in this draft. Given how much he’s seen, his instincts at this point help make up for some of his shortcomings with his arm.

    Would the Patriots have any interest in Zappe? With Jarrett Stidham entering the final year of his deal, it’s not unrealistic to think that they could be looking for a new long-term backup for Mac Jones, to join the QB room along with Brian Hoyer. While Zappe could fit the bill, he’s currently viewed as the top option in the second tier of passers in this draft, and his draft range will be boosted by a weak overall quarterback class. The Patriots have reached for backups in the past (Jarrett Stidham in the 4th round in 2019, Jacoby Brissett in the 3rd in 2016, Ryan Mallett in the 3rd in 2011, Kevin O’Connell in the 3rd in 2008), but that feels less realistic than usual this year.

  • WR Jerreth Sterns

    EAST LANSING, MICHIGAN - OCTOBER 02: Jerreth Sterns #8 of the Western Kentucky Hilltoppers runs the ball against Darius Snow #23 of the Michigan State Spartans during the third quarter of the game at Spartan Stadium on October 02, 2021 in East Lansing, Michigan. (Photo by Nic Antaya/Getty Images)

    EAST LANSING, MICHIGAN – OCTOBER 02: Jerreth Sterns #8 of the Western Kentucky Hilltoppers runs the ball against Darius Snow #23 of the Michigan State Spartans during the third quarter of the game at Spartan Stadium on October 02, 2021 in East Lansing, Michigan. (Photo by Nic Antaya/Getty Images)

    With that kind of quarterback production, there’s bound to be some eye-popping wide receiver numbers too right? That’s where Sterns comes in. He actually transferred with Zappe from HBU to WKU, and set new C-USA records for catches (150) and receiving yards (1,902) in a single season, while leading the conference in receiving touchdowns (17). Sterns finished the 2021 season eight catches and 158 yards away from setting new NCAA single-season records.

    At 5-foot-9, 183 pounds, Sterns is primarily a slot receiver. He’s an excellent route runner who works primarily in the short and intermediate areas of the field. He has very sure hands, both as a receiver and carrying the ball after the catch – he didn’t fumble on 168 touches at Western Kentucky. While he’s not a burner, Sterns has enough wiggle to do some damage with the ball in his hands, both as a receiver and punt returner.

    While he doesn’t pop physically, Sterns is a very technically-sound player. Currently projected to go outside of the top 200, he has all the makings of a late Day 3 Patriots draft pick or UDFA.

  • OLB DeAngelo Malone

    MTSU quarterback Asher O'Hara (10) gets sacked by Western defensive end DeAngelo Malone (10) and Western defensive tackle Ricky Barber (50) on Saturday, Oct. 3, 2020, at MTSU. (Helen Comer/DNJ via Imagn Content Services, LLC)

    MTSU quarterback Asher O’Hara (10) gets sacked by Western defensive end DeAngelo Malone (10) and Western defensive tackle Ricky Barber (50) on Saturday, Oct. 3, 2020, at MTSU. (Helen Comer/DNJ via Imagn Content Services, LLC)

    Western Kentucky’s incredible production isn’t limited to the offensive side of the ball – or players who transferred from Houston Baptist. Malone was a five-year player and four-year contributor for the Hilltoppers, winning C-USA Defensive Player of the Year twice, in 2019 and 2021. In 50 games over the last four seasons, Malone totaled 57.5 tackles for a loss including 31 sacks and forced eight fumbles.

    Malone primarily played with his hand in the dirt in college, but at 6-foot-3, 243 pounds will likely need to transition to being a standup edge rusher at the next level. He’ll likely be a passing down-specific player in the NFL right away, but does have room to grow his game. The Patriots have targeted similar players in recent years, including Ronnie Perkins last year. However, while Perkins was a top 100 pick, Malone is expected to go in the middle picks on Day 3.

  • Other workouts

    Nov 27, 2021; Huntington, West Virginia, USA; Western Kentucky Hilltoppers offensive lineman Boe Wilson (56) during the third quarter against the Marshall Thundering Herd at Joan C. Edwards Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Ben Queen-USA TODAY Sports

    Nov 27, 2021; Huntington, West Virginia, USA; Western Kentucky Hilltoppers offensive lineman Boe Wilson (56) during the third quarter against the Marshall Thundering Herd at Joan C. Edwards Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Ben Queen-USA TODAY Sports

    Western Kentucky also had four other players take part in the Pro Day. All are projected UDFAs.

    Three of those players are offensive linemen. That group includes guard Boe Wilson, who transferred to Western Kentucky after two years as a starter at Nebraska. WKU’s two starting tackles, Mason Brooks and Cole Spencer are also in this class. They’ll need to show they can also play at guard to stick on NFL rosters as versatile depth options.

    Finally there’s safety Antwon Kincade. Kincade started for the last three years, and piled up 100 tackles in 2021 as a box safety. His high motor and willingness to hit could see him get looks as a special teamer.

  • Other Pro Day breakdowns

    Georgia
    Alabama
    Penn State
    Florida
    Boise State
    Tulsa

Patriots Pro Day process continues in Houston on Friday

  • The second to last week of Pro Day workouts came to an end on Friday. It’s been a busy week for the Patriots, who had representatives spotted at various workouts throughout the country.

    On Friday, Southwest area scout Alex Brooks was at the University of Houston according to a list shared by Pro Football Network’s Aaron Wilson. There were 13 players on the field for the Cougars’ workout, including two projected top-100 picks.

  • DL Logan Hall

    Oct 7, 2021; New Orleans, Louisiana, USA; Houston Cougars defensive lineman Logan Hall (92) sacks Tulane Green Wave quarterback Michael Pratt (7) during the second half at Yulman Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports

    Hall was an edge setter for the Cougars, but projects to be able to play all across the defensive line in the NFL. At 6-foot-6, 283 pounds he can help hold up the edge against smaller, athletic tackles, then rotate inside on passing downs as an interior pass rusher.

    The Patriots traditionally favor versatile defensive lineman, and could use Hall in a number of ways. He’s expected to go on Day 2, when the Patriots have taken edge players in each of the last three drafts (Ronnie Perkins, Josh Uche, Anfernee Jennings, Chase Winovich).

  • CB Marcus Jones

    Sep 25, 2021; Houston, Texas, USA; Houston Cougars cornerback Marcus Jones (8) returns a punt for a touchdown during the first quarter against the Navy Midshipmen at TDECU Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

    Jones spent the first two years of his collegiate career at Troy before transferring to Houston for the 2020 season. A fast, agile slot corner with some safety ability, Jones could be a fit in the Patriots’ “positionless” secondary. He had five interceptions and 13 pass breakups in 13 games for the Cougars last year. Size is his biggest issue, he measured in at 5-foot-8, 174 pounds at the Combine.

    However, his play on defense is only part of Jones’ overall evaluation. He’s been one of the best kick and punt returners in the nation since he was a freshman with the Trojans. In four seasons, he returned six kickoffs and three punts for touchdowns. In 2021 alone he had two touchdowns each on kick and punt returns, while averaging 34 yards per kick return. He was named a consensus All-American kick returner after the season.

  •  DB Damarion Williams

    Sep 25, 2021; Houston, Texas, USA; Houston Cougars cornerback Damarion Williams (6) tackles Navy Midshipmen quarterback Xavier Arline (7) during the first quarter at TDECU Stadium. Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

    Sep 25, 2021; Houston, Texas, USA; Houston Cougars cornerback Damarion Williams (6) tackles Navy Midshipmen quarterback Xavier Arline (7) during the first quarter at TDECU Stadium. Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

    Williams played boundary corner, slot corner, and safety four the Cougars. He plays physically in coverage, and is a willing tackler in the running game. This past season, he recorded 63 tackles with eight pass breakups and a pick.

    In the NFL Williams may not have the athleticism to play full-time on the outside, but would be best suited for a multi-position role in the secondary. That’s been a theme for the Patriots this offseason, so he’s someone to keep an eye on. He’s currently projected as a late Day 3 pick or priority UDFA.

  • Other workouts

    Sep 18, 2021; Houston, Texas, USA; Houston Cougars defensive lineman David Anenih (12) tackles Grambling State Tigers quarterback Aldon Clark (2) during the second quarter at TDECU Stadium. Credit: Maria Lysaker-USA TODAY Sports

    Sep 18, 2021; Houston, Texas, USA; Houston Cougars defensive lineman David Anenih (12) tackles Grambling State Tigers quarterback Aldon Clark (2) during the second quarter at TDECU Stadium. Credit: Maria Lysaker-USA TODAY Sports

    The Cougars had 10 other players take part in the Pro Day, all projected UDFAs. The top player from that group is outside linebacker David Anenih. Anenih is a three year starter and another explosive edge rusher who played opposite Hall for the Cougars. Last season he had 10 tackles for a loss and five sacks in 14 games. He’s more of a speed rusher, and would likely be a pass rush specialist and special teams contributor in the NFL.

    Rounding out the players working out were running backs Chandler Smith and Mulbah Car, wide receivers Jaylen Erwin and Cole McGowan, tight end Seth Green, offensive lineman Kody Russey, defensive lineman Jake Herslow, linebacker Deontay Anderson, and kicker Dalton Witherspoon.

  • Rice Pro Day

    Sep 18, 2021; Austin, Texas, USA; Rice Owls tight end Jordan Myers (7) runs the ball against Texas Longhorns defensive back Jerrin Thompson (28) during the second quarter at Darrell K Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium. Credit: John Gutierrez-USA TODAY Sports

    Sep 18, 2021; Austin, Texas, USA; Rice Owls tight end Jordan Myers (7) runs the ball against Texas Longhorns defensive back Jerrin Thompson (28) during the second quarter at Darrell K Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium. Credit: John Gutierrez-USA TODAY Sports

    Meanwhile across town, the Patriots had an unidentified scout at Rice according to Ari Alexander of KPRC Houston. The Owls had five players take part in the workout.

    All five players from that Pro Day are projected UDFAs. The standout of the group is Jordan Myers. Described by his own coaches as a “swiss army knife,” Myers was listed as a wide receiver and tight end at different points throughout his career but was mainly used as a ball carrier. In 2021, he ran the ball 92 times in 11 games for 338 yards and eight touchdowns, adding another 27 catches for 278 yards and another score. After the season, he was named Rice’s Offensive Player of the Year. Rice head coach Mike Bloomgren raved about his well-rounded game and high football IQ on a number of occasions during the season.

    The other players taking part in that Pro Day were quarterback Jake Constantine, offensive linemen Jovaun Woolford and Elijah Garcia, and safety Naeem Smith.

  • Other Pro Day breakdowns

    Georgia
    Alabama
    Penn State
    Florida
    Maryland
    Boise State
    Tulsa
    Western Kentucky

    Bill Belichick in attendance at highly anticipated Pro Day

    • Georgia’s 2022 Pro Day isn’t just one of the most anticipated of this draft cycle, but perhaps among the most in recent memory. The defending National Champion Bulldogs are currently projected to have 12 picks in the top 100, most of them from the team’s record-setting defense.

      There’s been a number of players from Georgia linked to the Patriots in this draft cycle. Now, that speculation should only ramp up after Bill Belichick, Matt Patricia, and Matt Groh were in attendance for the workouts. That trio represents arguably the Patriots’ three biggest decision-makers.

      In recent years, Belichick has drawn heavily from the Georgia program. The Patriots took two Bulldogs in the first round in 2018 in tackle Isaiah Wynn and running back Sony Michel. There was also a Georgia product among the team’s captains last year in center David Andrews, who was signed as a UDFA in 2015.

      Who could be joining the Athens-to-Foxborough pipeline in 2022? Here’s a look at the (long) list of Georgia’s top prospects in the upcoming 2022 NFL Draft…

    • DL Jordan Davis

      Nov 27, 2021; Atlanta, Georgia, USA; Georgia Bulldogs defensive lineman Jordan Davis (99) in action against the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets in the second quarter at Bobby Dodd Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

      Davis was the star of the NFL Combine after crushing the physical testing – including a 4.78 second 40 – at 6-foot-6, 341 pounds. While some have speculated that he could fall in the draft as teams devalue the nose tackle position, his Combine showed what his tape suggested – that he is more than just a two-down player. As the draft approaches it feels less and less likely he’ll be there when the Patriots pick at 21st overall, but it’s not impossible.

    • DE Travon Walker

      ATHENS, GA – NOVEMBER 06: Travon Walker #44 of the Georgia Bulldogs sacks Tyler Macon #10 of the Missouri Tigers in the second half at Sanford Stadium on November 6, 2021 in Athens, Georgia. (Photo by Todd Kirkland/Getty Images)

      Walker is another elite athlete who ran a 4.51 40 at 6-foot-5, 272 pounds. He’s the kind of edge defender the Patriots tend to look for, especially given what he can do against the run. Like Davis, it’s a longshot he’s on the board at 21.

    • LB Nakobe Dean

      ATHENS, GA – OCTOBER 02: Nakobe Dean #17 of the Georgia Bulldogs reacts in the second half against the Arkansas Razorbacks at Sanford Stadium on October 2, 2021 in Athens, Georgia. (Photo by Todd Kirkland/Getty Images)

      Dean is one of the more intriguing first round players in this draft. He’s already shown NFL-level talent, great football instincts and IQ, and is a tremendous athlete. Yet as a 5-foot-11, 229 pound middle linebacker, hits fits in terms of NFL teams may be limited to specific schemes. That could cause him to fall in the draft, but at the same time if a team that is a fit likes him, he could be a top 20 talent.

      When it comes to the Patriots – who are looking for more athletic linebackers – Dean certainly checks some boxes. Yet to go from 260 pound linebackers to 230 pound linebackers would be quite the jump and may require some schematic changes to the defense. For instance, based on the current scheme Dean is built more like a Patriots’ safety. For reference, Kyle Dugger is 6-foot-2, 225 pounds.

    • DE Devonte Wyatt

      NASHVILLE, TN – SEPTEMBER 25: Devonte Wyatt #95 of the Georgia Bulldogs celebrates against the Vanderbilt Commodores during the first quarter at Vanderbilt Stadium on September 25, 2021 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Brett Carlsen/Getty Images)

      Another star of the Bulldogs’ defensive line, Wyatt is a disruptive defensive tackle that can create pressure up the middle. At 6-foot-3, 304 pounds, he could likely play as a 3-4 end as well. He’s currently projected to go in the second half of the first round.

    • S Lewis Cine

      Jan 10, 2022; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Georgia Bulldogs defensive back Lewis Cine (16) against the Alabama Crimson Tide in the 2022 CFP college football national championship game at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

      On one hand, Cine is the kind of physical box safety that the Patriots tend to target. On the other hand, would they use a premium add to that position with two established starters already in place in Dugger and Adrian Phillips? Cine is currently projected to be a second-round pick. Cine has local ties – he played his first three years of high school football at Everett High and was named Massachusetts Defensive Player of the Year in 2017.

    • WR George Pickens

      ATLANTA, GEORGIA – JANUARY 01: George Pickens #1 of the Georgia Bulldogs makes a catch for a first quarter touchdown against Bryan Cook #6 of of the Cincinnati Bearcats during Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl at Mercedes-Benz Stadium on January 01, 2021 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Scott Cunningham /Getty Images)

      Pickens is Georgia’s top offensive player in this class. He’s struggled with injuries and played just 12 games over the last two years. Still, when he’s been on the field he’s been a productive deep threat averaging 15 yards per catch and 14 career touchdowns on just 90 catches.

      If the Patriots are looking for a replacement for Nelson Agholor, he could make sense in the second round – assuming everything checks out medically. At the same time, if the injuries cause him to fall he could find himself in a situation similar to a former Georgia Bulldog receiver, Malcolm Mitchell.

    • LB Quay Walker

      Michigan quarterback J.J. McCarthy is sacked by Georgia linebacker Quay Walker during the second half of U-M’s 34-11 loss in the Orange Bowl on Friday, Dec. 31, 2021, in Miami Gardens, Florida.

      While many Patriots fans have focused on Dean, Walker may be the best overall fit for the Patriots not just at linebacker, but of any player off the Georgia defense this year. At 6-foot-4, 241 pounds he has the build to handle the downhill responsibilities that come with the inside linebacker role in New England, but has the athleticism to move sideline-to-sideline as well. He’s currently projected to be a Day 2 pick.

    • CB Derion Kendrick

      A pass to Tennessee wide receiver Cedric Tillman (4) in the end zone is broken up by Georgia defensive back Derion Kendrick (11) and Georgia defensive back Lewis Cine (16) during an SEC football game between Tennessee and Georgia at Neyland Stadium in Knoxville, Tenn. on Saturday, Nov. 13, 2021.

      The lone corner in Georgia’s draft class this year, Kendrick could end up getting some attention from the Patriots who have a need at the position. Kendrick possesses two non-football traits that the Patriots have valued in the past – he’s a converted wide receiver and a transfer player who began his career at Clemson. Between those the two schools, he has a ton of big game experience. On the field, he’s a ball-hawking primarily boundary zone player who will contribute against the run. However, his skillset is still very raw. He’s projected to be a late third or early fourth round pick.

    • OL Jamaree Salyer

      Dec 12, 2020; Columbia, Missouri, USA; Georgia Bulldogs offensive lineman Jamaree Salyer (69) gets ready to block against the Missouri Tigers during the first half at Faurot Field at Memorial Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports

      Salyer was a tackle for the Bulldogs, but could move inside to guard at the next level. The Patriots generally value that kind of versatility in Day 3 offensive linemen, and will also like how well he played in the CFB semifinal game against Michigan’s first-round pass rushing duo of Aidan Hutchinson and David Ojabo.

    • RB James Cook

      ATHENS, GA – SEPTEMBER 18: James Cook #4 of the Georgia Bulldogs rushes during the first half against the South Carolina Gamecocks at Sanford Stadium on September 18, 2021 in Athens, Georgia. (Photo by Todd Kirkland/Getty Images)

      Cook is one of the best all-around backs in this class. He totaled over 1,000 all-purpose yards for the Bulldogs last year in a receiving back role. The Patriots did bring back 30-year-old James White in free agency, but if they want to invest in a long-term third down back while giving that player time to develop, Cook would make a lot of sense early on Day 3.

    • LB Channing Tindall

      Jan 10, 2022; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Georgia Bulldogs linebacker Channing Tindall (41) against the Alabama Crimson Tide in the 2022 CFP college football national championship game at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

      Tindall is somewhere between Dean and Walker in terms of both size and skillset. In a strong linebacker class, there’s a chance he falls as somewhat of a ‘tweener’ but is currently projected to go late on Day 2 or early on Day 3.

    • Zamir White

      Nov 20, 2021; Athens, Georgia, USA; Georgia Bulldogs running back Zamir White (3) runs for a touchdown against the Charleston Southern Buccaneers during the first quarter at Sanford Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

      While Cook was the Bulldogs’ multi-purpose back, White did most of the downhill running. He was also a team captain in 2021. For the short term, the Patriots are set on early down backs with the combination of Damien Harris and Rhamondre Stevenson. At the same time, they’ve taken a running back in three of the last four drafts. White is in that late Day 2 to early Day 3 range.

    • G Justin Shaffer

      Sep 11, 2021; Athens, Georgia, USA; Georgia Bulldogs offensive lineman Justin Shaffer (54) in action against the UAB Blazers at Sanford Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

      Moving down the draft board now, Shaffer is a project player expected to go in the fifth or sixth round. At 6-foot-4, 314 pounds he plays with a mean streak, but will need to sure up his technique at the next level.

    • P Jake Camarda

      Nov 23, 2019; Athens, GA, USA; Georgia Bulldogs punter Jake Camarda (90) follows through on a punt against the Texas A&M Aggies during the second half at Sanford Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

      Yes, even Georgia’s punter is projected to be drafted. Camarda is currently a projected seventh-round pick in what is a strong punter class.

    • TE John FitzPatrick

      ATLANTA, GEORGIA – JANUARY 01: Tight end John Fitzpatrick #86 of the Georgia Bulldogs runs with the ball after making a reception during the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl against the Cincinnati Bearcats at Mercedes-Benz Stadium on January 01, 2021 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Mike Zarrilli/Getty Images)

      FitzPatrick was primarily a blocking tight end for Georgia in 2021 at 6-foot-7, 250 pounds. The Patriots don’t have a need at tight end, but his size could make him valuable as a practice squad player. As a projected UDFA it would likely only cost the Pats a roster spot to bring him.

    Who are the Patriots watching at the Alabama Pro Day?

    • One of the biggest days of the pre-draft process is upon us. Wednesday is Alabama’s Pro Day, when personnel executives from all 32 NFL teams will get a close look as the players set to head from Tuscaloosa to the pros.

      This is an especially notable event for the Patriots. Since 2010, the Patriots have drafted eight players from Alabama – more than any other team in the NFL. They’ve also drafted more players from Alabama than any other school in that span, taking no more than six from any other program (you can find a full list of their favorite schools here).

      Six of those eight picks – including all of the last five – were made in the top 100. The Patriots don’t just turn to Alabama for talent, but for impact talent. That push has ramped up recently, with four Alabama picks in the last three years – including their first two picks last year in Mac Jones and Christian Barmore. Damien Harris (2019 3rd round) and Anfernee Jennings (2020 3rd round) are the other two.

      From their immense success on the field to Bill Belichick’s relationship with Nick Saban, there’s a lot to draw New England to the program. So, who might he look to add this year? Here’s a rundown of the draft targets and top projected UDFA’s in this year’s Alabama draft class.

      Note: Alabama’s Pro Day is so expansive, it’s split into two sessions. The majority of the players listed below will work out on Wednesday, but a handful will take part in the second Pro Day on April 13. 

    • T Evan Neal

      Sep 18, 2021; Gainesville, Florida, USA; Alabama Crimson Tide offensive lineman Evan Neal (73) against the Florida Gators at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

      Sep 18, 2021; Gainesville, Florida, USA; Alabama Crimson Tide offensive lineman Evan Neal (73) against the Florida Gators at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

      Neal is arguably the top offensive lineman in this year’s class, and is in the running to be the first overall pick. It would take something wild for him to end up with the Patriots.

    • WR Jameson Williams

      Sep 4, 2021; Atlanta, Georgia, USA; Alabama Crimson Tide wide receiver Jameson Williams (1) reacts as he scores on a long touchdown pass against the Miami Hurricanes during the second half at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

      Sep 4, 2021; Atlanta, Georgia, USA; Alabama Crimson Tide wide receiver Jameson Williams (1) reacts as he scores on a long touchdown pass against the Miami Hurricanes during the second half at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

      Had Williams finished the 2021 season healthy, he’d be right there with Neal in the ‘untouchable’ category as the top receiver in this class and a likely top 10 overall pick. However, a torn ACL in the National Championship now has his stock slipping to the middle of the first round. Still, when healthy he is a 6-foot-2 burner who runs precise routes and elusive with the ball in his hands.

      It’s possible he falls to 21 if receiver-needy teams are focused on immediate impact, but his immense ceiling makes it seem likely a team will take a chance on him in the top 20 – especially given how many teams have multiple picks in that range.

    • LB Christian Harris

      Jan 10, 2022; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Georgia Bulldogs quarterback Stetson Bennett (13) is pressured by Alabama Crimson Tide linebacker Christian Harris (8) in the fourth quarter during the 2022 CFP college football national championship game at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Marc Lebryk-USA TODAY Sports

      Harris is one of a number of rangy middle linebackers expected to go on Day 2 of this year’s draft. He’s towards the top of that group that also includes Chad Muma, Quay Walker, Leo Chenal, and Troy Anderson, and could end up being a top-50 pick. At 6-foot, 226 pounds he’s undersized compared to the typical Patriots linebackers, but if they’re truly committed to fielding a faster zone-based defense, Harris would be a great fit in that transition.

    • DL Phidarian Mathis

      Alabama defensive lineman Phidarian Mathis (48) tackles Cincinnati running back Jerome Ford (24) in the 2021 College Football Playoff Semifinal game at the 86th Cotton Bowl in AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas Friday, Dec. 31, 2021. [Staff Photo/Gary Cosby Jr.]  College Football Playoffs Alabama Vs Cincinnati

      Alabama defensive lineman Phidarian Mathis (48) tackles Cincinnati running back Jerome Ford (24) in the 2021 College Football Playoff Semifinal game at the 86th Cotton Bowl in AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas Friday, Dec. 31, 2021. [Staff Photo/Gary Cosby Jr.]

      A captain for the Tide in 2021, Mathis helped fill the hole left on the defensive line by Christian Barmore’s departure. Like Barmore, Mathis wins more with athleticism than mass (6-foot-4, 210 pounds). He’s more of a run stopper than pass rusher, but isn’t a liability as an interior rusher on early downs and can push the pocket from the interior when needed.

      Mathis has the versatility to play all along the defensive line, a trait the Patriots have valued highly. Pairing Mathis with Barmore could create some interesting athletic mismatches up front. Mathis is currently projected to be a late second or early third round pick.

    • WR John Metchie

      TUSCALOOSA, ALABAMA - NOVEMBER 06:  John Metchie III #8 of the Alabama Crimson Tide pulls in this touchdown reception against the LSU Tigers during the first half at Bryant-Denny Stadium on November 06, 2021 in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

      TUSCALOOSA, ALABAMA – NOVEMBER 06: John Metchie III #8 of the Alabama Crimson Tide pulls in this touchdown reception against the LSU Tigers during the first half at Bryant-Denny Stadium on November 06, 2021 in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

      One of the most interesting prospects on this list, it feels just as likely Metchie could go at the end of the first round as it does he could go early in the third. A torn ACL in the SEC Championship Game hurt his draft stock, but recent reports and workout videos suggest he could miss minimal time this upcoming season.

      While he doesn’t have the upside of Jameson Williams, Metchie still projects to be one of the best receivers in this draft if he hits his ceiling. His skillset would be well-suited to the Patriots’ offense – he’s a technician as a route runner and can line up both outside and in the slot. Once he separates, his speed makes him a threat after the catch, especially at the short and intermediate levels.

      On top of all of that, Metchie has experience working with Mac Jones. During Jones’ lone full season as Alabama’s starting quarterback, Metchie posted 55 catches for 916 yards and six touchdowns as the team’s second receiver playing opposite Hesiman winner DeVonta Smith.

    • RB Brian Robinson

      TUSCALOOSA, ALABAMA - OCTOBER 23: Brian Robinson Jr. #4 of the Alabama Crimson Tide carries the ball against Tennessee Volunteers in the first half at Bryant Denny Stadium on October 23, 2021 in Tuscaloosa, Alabama (Photo by Marvin Gentry/Getty Images )

      TUSCALOOSA, ALABAMA – OCTOBER 23: Brian Robinson Jr. #4 of the Alabama Crimson Tide carries the ball against Tennessee Volunteers in the first half at Bryant Denny Stadium on October 23, 2021 in Tuscaloosa, Alabama (Photo by Marvin Gentry/Getty Images )

      Robinson is one of the more well-rounded backs in this class. He can contribute as a ball carrier, a receiver, and as a blocker. In 2021, he put up 1,639 all-purpose yards with 16 touchdowns as the Tide’s feature back.

      If the Patriots are looking to add depth at the position and don’t mind making a top-150 investment, Robinson would make a lot of sense as a target early on Day 3. He could be both an early-down back or pass-catching back in their system, similar to the role Rex Burkhead had during his time in Foxborough.

    • CB Josh Jobe

      Sep 18, 2021; Gainesville, Florida, USA; Alabama Crimson Tide defensive back Josh Jobe (28) against the Florida Gators at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

      In a draft that’s not incredibly deep when it comes to outside corners, Jobe stands out as a strong option right around the 100th pick. Jobe was incredibly productive as a junior in 2020, leading the SEC with 11 pass breakups. However, he was more inconsistent in 2021.

      Part of the reason Jobe – who began the year as a projected top-50 pick – may fall this far is lack of scheme versatility. He played almost exclusively press man corner at Alabama, and may translate better as a safety in other schemes. However, the Patriots would likely have him playing press man, so they may see his slide as a chance for a value pick. There’s other parts of Jobe’s game the Patriots may like including his overall physicality, willingness as a tackler, and special teams experience.

    • CB Jalyn Armour-Davis

      Alabama Crimson Tide defensive back Jalyn Armour-Davis (5) breaks up a pass intended for Florida Gators wide receiver Justin Shorter (4) in the first half. Florida Gators played their first SEC game against Alabama at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium Saturday afternoon, September 18, 2021, in Gainesville, FL. [Doug Engle/Gainesville Sun]

      Alabama Crimson Tide defensive back Jalyn Armour-Davis (5) breaks up a pass intended for Florida Gators wide receiver Justin Shorter (4) in the first half. Florida Gators played their first SEC game against Alabama at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium Saturday afternoon, September 18, 2021, in Gainesville, FL. [Doug Engle/Gainesville Sun]

      Alabama’s other outside corner, Armour-Davis doesn’t have the multi-year starting experience Jobe does but may be the higher-upside option of the two players. He’s bigger than Jobe at 6-foot-1, 197 pounds, and ran an impressive 4.39 40 at the Combine.

      Like Jobe (and most Alabama cornerbacks for that matter) he’s a willing tackler who can contribute on special teams as well as defense. Projected to go in the fifth round, he seems like a logical fit with a Patriots team that has done a great job developing technically raw an inexperienced cornerbacks over the years. He’d make a lot of sense as a Day 3 pick, especially if the team elects to double-dip at the position.

    • DL LaBryan Ray

      TUSCALOOSA, ALABAMA – OCTOBER 23: LaBryan Ray #18 of the Alabama Crimson Tide reaches for Hendon Hooker #5 of the Tennessee Volunteers in the first half at Bryant Denny Stadium on October 23, 2021 in Tuscaloosa, Alabama (Photo by Marvin Gentry/Getty Images)

      Ray is another athletic and versatile defensive lineman. He wasn’t quite as productive as Mathis, and dealt with some injuries issues during his collegiate career which resulted in him playing just two full seasons. Yet when on the field he’s shown some upside as an edge setter and interior pass rusher, and like Mathis would be an interesting complement to Barmore. He’s currently projected to go late on Day 3.

    • Slade Bolden

      INDIANAPOLIS, INDIANA - JANUARY 10: Slade Bolden #18 of the Alabama Crimson Tide carries the ball after a reception during the second quarter of the game against the Georgia Bulldogs during the 2022 CFP National Championship Game at Lucas Oil Stadium on January 10, 2022 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Emilee Chinn/Getty Images)

      INDIANAPOLIS, INDIANA – JANUARY 10: Slade Bolden #18 of the Alabama Crimson Tide carries the ball after a reception during the second quarter of the game against the Georgia Bulldogs during the 2022 CFP National Championship Game at Lucas Oil Stadium on January 10, 2022 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Emilee Chinn/Getty Images)

      Mac Jones’ former roommate, Bolden is a converted quarterback that played slot receiver for the Tide in 2021. At that spot, he’s able to get himself open in the short and intermediate areas of the field, and picks up yards after the catch with an aggressive running style. He also contributed on special teams. A projected seventh-round pick or priority UDFA, he’d be a logical replacement for Gunner Olszewski, who is now in Pittsburgh.

    • OLB Christopher Allen

      Oct 31, 2020; Tuscaloosa, Alabama, USA; Alabama linebacker Christopher Allen (4) sacks Mississippi State quarterback Will Rogers (2) for a loss at Bryant-Denny Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Gary Cosby Jr/The Tuscaloosa News via USA TODAY Sports

      Oct 31, 2020; Tuscaloosa, Alabama, USA; Alabama linebacker Christopher Allen (4) sacks Mississippi State quarterback Will Rogers (2) for a loss at Bryant-Denny Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Gary Cosby Jr/The Tuscaloosa News via USA TODAY Sports

      Injuries limited Allen to just 19 games in five seasons at Alabama. When he was on the field though he was a force, with 13 tackles for a loss including six sacks in 11 games in 2020 – his only full season. He’s raw, but could make sense as a low-risk, high-upside player in the seventh round or as a UDFA.

    • OL Chris Owens

      Sep 18, 2021; Gainesville, Florida, USA; Alabama Crimson Tide offensive lineman Chris Owens (79) against the Florida Gators at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

      A six-year player and three-year starter who’s played guard tackle and center, Owens’ experience, versatility, and size (6-foot-3, 315 pounds) make him a logical fit for the Patriots. He projects best to guard in the NFL, but can realistically offer depth across the offensive line. He’s currently projected to be a UDFA.

    • S Daniel Wright

      Jan 10, 2022; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Alabama Crimson Tide defensive back Daniel Wright (3) against the Georgia Bulldogs in the 2022 CFP college football national championship game at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

      Jan 10, 2022; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Alabama Crimson Tide defensive back Daniel Wright (3) against the Georgia Bulldogs in the 2022 CFP college football national championship game at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

      Wright arrived at Alabama as a four-star recruit in 2017, but injuries kept him off the field early in his career. He started seeing more playing time in 2020 and played 26 games over the last two years mainly in a reserve role. As a projected UDFA, he’ll look to stick on a roster as a backup free safety and special teams contributor.

    • Other Pro Day breakdowns

      Georgia
      Penn State
      Florida
      Tulsa

    New Patriots player personnel director begins Pro Day circuit

    • With all of the changes to the Patriots’ coaching staff, it’s easy to forget there was a major change in the team’s front office too. Former director of player personnel Dave Ziegler left to be the new general manager of the Las Vegas Raiders, with Matt Groh taking his spot in New England.

      Director of player personnel is a key role in the NFL corporates flow chart. The job is basically an assistant GM and covers everything from internal contracts to free agency and the draft.

      Unlike Ziegler, who’s background was mainly working at the pro personnel level, Groh comes from the scouting ranks. He was reportedly heavily involved in the Patriots’ draft process last year, and there’s no reason to think that will change in 2022.

      In fact, Groh was out scouting himself this week as the Pro Day circuit began. According to Pro Football Network’s Aaron Wilson, Groh was in Oklahoma to watch workouts at Tulsa Thursday and Friday.

      Although Tulsa doesn’t have many players in the draft this year, those that did work out play positions of need for the Patriots. Will any of them catch Groh’s attention and end up in Foxborough this spring?

    • OT Tyler Smith

      Oct 3, 2020; Orlando, Florida, USA; Tulsa Golden Hurricane offensive tackle Tyler Smith (56) guards during the second quarter of a game against the UCF Knights at Spectrum Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mary Holt-USA TODAY Sports

      Smith has all of the size the Patriots look for at tackle at 6-foot-5, 324 pounds and he plays the game with a nasty edge. He’s still raw technically though and is seen as a high-ceiling, low-floor prospect. By showing positional versatility – either as a swing tackle or as a combo tackle/guard – he could increase his draft stock which projects to be a late Day 2 pick. If the Patriots are satisfied with their tackle situation for 2022 but want a long-term project player with upside, he could be a fit.

    • IOL Chris Paul

      Nov 14, 2020; Tulsa, Oklahoma, USA; Tulsa Golden Hurricane offensive lineman Chris Paul (71) blocks Southern Methodist Mustangs defensive back Cam Jones (2) during the game at Skelly Field at H.A. Chapman Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brett Rojo-USA TODAY Sports

      Paul is one of the more intriguing offensive line prospects on Day 3 of the draft. A Senior Bowl participant, he played both tackle and guard in college, and has the strong football IQ you’d expect from a player that moves around that much. A four-year starter, his high motor helped overshadow some of his more technical shortcomings, which will need to be fixed at the next level. Those who covered him at Tulsa also rave about him as a positive locker room presence and academic standout. Football isn’t his only passion – he also produced an EP Roads under the stage name The Seventh.

    • WR Josh Johnson

      Sep 11, 2021; Stillwater, Oklahoma, USA; Tulsa Golden Hurricane wide receiver Josh Johnson (4) runs with the ball after a reception during the fourth quarter against the Oklahoma State Cowboys at Boone Pickens Stadium. The Cowboys won 28-23. Mandatory Credit: Brett Rojo-USA TODAY Sports

      A Iowa State transfer, Johnson had a breakout year for Tulsa in 2021 catching 82 passes for 1,087 yards and six touchdowns. That included an eight-catch, 148-yard performance against Ohio State. He didn’t run the 40 at the Combine, but is expected to be one of the faster receivers in this class and wins mostly with his speed. Johnson is currently projected to be a priority UDFA.

    • CB Travon Fuller

      Sep 18, 2021; Columbus, Ohio, USA; Tulsa Golden Hurricane cornerback Travon Fuller (2) intercepts a pass intended for Ohio State Buckeyes tight end Jeremy Ruckert (88) during the second quarter at Ohio Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Joseph Maiorana-USA TODAY Sports

      Fuller transferred to Tulsa from Texas A&M in 2021 and played a starting role for the Golden Hurricane. In 13 games he intercepted three passes – including one against Ohio State – while deflecting nine more and forcing a fumble. A bigger corner at 6-foot-1, 180 pounds, he also contributed in the running game and recorded4.5 tackles for a loss. He’s currently projected to go undrafted.

    • Looking ahead

      Remember, this is just one Pro Day over the course of about a month-long stretch. There’s still a ways to go, so we’ll keep an eye out for where Groh or other Patriots’ decision makers are spotted as things move ahead. Notable Pro Days next week include Georgia (Wednesday), Clemson (Thursday), and Michigan (Friday).

    Patriots director of scouting attends Pro Day of record-breaking prospects

    • It’s been a busy week for the Patriots, as college Pro Days wind down. They had staffers in Florida to begin the week, followed by a big trip to Alabama with a contingent highlighted by Bill Belichick and Matt Groh on Wednesday. While that was going on, assistant coach Ross Douglas continued his work with wide receivers at Boise State.

      On Thursday, it was newly-named director of scouting Eliot Wolf in the spotlight at the day’s most notable workout. According to Jim Nagy of the Senior Bowl, Wolf was one of the top executives spotted at Western Kentucky’s Pro Day.

      Despite not having any projected Day 1 or Day 2 picks, there were still some notable names working out in Bowling Green. That list is highlighted by a player that just broke a number of notable NCAA single-season records. Here’s a quick rundown of who Wolf saw on Thursday…

    • QB Bailey Zappe

      BOCA RATON, FLORIDA - DECEMBER 18: Bailey Zappe #4 of the Western Kentucky Hilltoppers looks to pass against the Appalachian State Mountaineers during the first half of the RoofClaim.com Boca Raton Bowl at FAU Stadium on December 18, 2021 in Boca Raton, Florida. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)

      BOCA RATON, FLORIDA – DECEMBER 18: Bailey Zappe #4 of the Western Kentucky Hilltoppers looks to pass against the Appalachian State Mountaineers during the first half of the RoofClaim.com Boca Raton Bowl at FAU Stadium on December 18, 2021 in Boca Raton, Florida. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)

      Zappe transferred to Western Kentucky from FCS Houston Baptist before the 2021 season, and rewrote the FBS record books upon his arrival. He threw for 5,967 yards and 62 touchdowns, surpassing the previous marks set by Joe Burrow in 2019.

      A five-year starter between two schools, Zappe is one of the most experienced passers in this draft. Given how much he’s seen, his instincts at this point help make up for some of his shortcomings with his arm.

      Would the Patriots have any interest in Zappe? With Jarrett Stidham entering the final year of his deal, it’s not unrealistic to think that they could be looking for a new long-term backup for Mac Jones, to join the QB room along with Brian Hoyer. While Zappe could fit the bill, he’s currently viewed as the top option in the second tier of passers in this draft, and his draft range will be boosted by a weak overall quarterback class. The Patriots have reached for backups in the past (Jarrett Stidham in the 4th round in 2019, Jacoby Brissett in the 3rd in 2016, Ryan Mallett in the 3rd in 2011, Kevin O’Connell in the 3rd in 2008), but that feels less realistic than usual this year.

    • WR Jerreth Sterns

      EAST LANSING, MICHIGAN - OCTOBER 02: Jerreth Sterns #8 of the Western Kentucky Hilltoppers runs the ball against Darius Snow #23 of the Michigan State Spartans during the third quarter of the game at Spartan Stadium on October 02, 2021 in East Lansing, Michigan. (Photo by Nic Antaya/Getty Images)

      EAST LANSING, MICHIGAN – OCTOBER 02: Jerreth Sterns #8 of the Western Kentucky Hilltoppers runs the ball against Darius Snow #23 of the Michigan State Spartans during the third quarter of the game at Spartan Stadium on October 02, 2021 in East Lansing, Michigan. (Photo by Nic Antaya/Getty Images)

      With that kind of quarterback production, there’s bound to be some eye-popping wide receiver numbers too right? That’s where Sterns comes in. He actually transferred with Zappe from HBU to WKU, and set new C-USA records for catches (150) and receiving yards (1,902) in a single season, while leading the conference in receiving touchdowns (17). Sterns finished the 2021 season eight catches and 158 yards away from setting new NCAA single-season records.

      At 5-foot-9, 183 pounds, Sterns is primarily a slot receiver. He’s an excellent route runner who works primarily in the short and intermediate areas of the field. He has very sure hands, both as a receiver and carrying the ball after the catch – he didn’t fumble on 168 touches at Western Kentucky. While he’s not a burner, Sterns has enough wiggle to do some damage with the ball in his hands, both as a receiver and punt returner.

      While he doesn’t pop physically, Sterns is a very technically-sound player. Currently projected to go outside of the top 200, he has all the makings of a late Day 3 Patriots draft pick or UDFA.

    • OLB DeAngelo Malone

      MTSU quarterback Asher O'Hara (10) gets sacked by Western defensive end DeAngelo Malone (10) and Western defensive tackle Ricky Barber (50) on Saturday, Oct. 3, 2020, at MTSU. (Helen Comer/DNJ via Imagn Content Services, LLC)

      MTSU quarterback Asher O’Hara (10) gets sacked by Western defensive end DeAngelo Malone (10) and Western defensive tackle Ricky Barber (50) on Saturday, Oct. 3, 2020, at MTSU. (Helen Comer/DNJ via Imagn Content Services, LLC)

      Western Kentucky’s incredible production isn’t limited to the offensive side of the ball – or players who transferred from Houston Baptist. Malone was a five-year player and four-year contributor for the Hilltoppers, winning C-USA Defensive Player of the Year twice, in 2019 and 2021. In 50 games over the last four seasons, Malone totaled 57.5 tackles for a loss including 31 sacks and forced eight fumbles.

      Malone primarily played with his hand in the dirt in college, but at 6-foot-3, 243 pounds will likely need to transition to being a standup edge rusher at the next level. He’ll likely be a passing down-specific player in the NFL right away, but does have room to grow his game. The Patriots have targeted similar players in recent years, including Ronnie Perkins last year. However, while Perkins was a top 100 pick, Malone is expected to go in the middle picks on Day 3.

    • Other workouts

      Nov 27, 2021; Huntington, West Virginia, USA; Western Kentucky Hilltoppers offensive lineman Boe Wilson (56) during the third quarter against the Marshall Thundering Herd at Joan C. Edwards Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Ben Queen-USA TODAY Sports

      Nov 27, 2021; Huntington, West Virginia, USA; Western Kentucky Hilltoppers offensive lineman Boe Wilson (56) during the third quarter against the Marshall Thundering Herd at Joan C. Edwards Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Ben Queen-USA TODAY Sports

      Western Kentucky also had four other players take part in the Pro Day. All are projected UDFAs.

      Three of those players are offensive linemen. That group includes guard Boe Wilson, who transferred to Western Kentucky after two years as a starter at Nebraska. WKU’s two starting tackles, Mason Brooks and Cole Spencer are also in this class. They’ll need to show they can also play at guard to stick on NFL rosters as versatile depth options.

      Finally there’s safety Antwon Kincade. Kincade started for the last three years, and piled up 100 tackles in 2021 as a box safety. His high motor and willingness to hit could see him get looks as a special teamer.

    • Other Pro Day breakdowns

      Georgia
      Alabama
      Penn State
      Florida
      Boise State
      Tulsa

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