The Patriots’ pre-draft meeting process takes a local turn on Wednesday. According to NFL reporter Jordan Schultz, the team will meet with a pair of players from New England schools.
One of those meeting will be with Brown quarterback and Andover, Mass. native EJ Perry. Perry transferred to Brown from Boston College following the 2018 season, and was named All-Ivy League First Team in 2019 and 2021 (the Ivy League didn’t play football in 2021). He was also the Ivy League offensive player of the year last season.
Perry is a dual threat quarterback. In 2021, he completed 66.4 percent of his 444 pass attempts for 3,033 yards with 23 touchdowns and 14 interceptions, while rushing for 402 yards at 3.6 yards per carry with another seven scores.
Since going to the East-West Shrine Bowl and winning the game’s Offensive MVP award, Perry’s stock has been rising. That continued at the NFL Combine where he ran a 4.65 40, the second-fastest among the quarterbacks behind Cincinnati’s Desmond Ridder.
Brown QB EJ Perry scrambles away from incoming Ram linebacker L. B. Mack III in the first half action. (The Providence Journal / Kris Craig)
Given the skill and willingness Perry has displayed on designed runs, as well as some of his shortcomings as a passer, some project Perry into a Taysom Hill type of role in the NFL. He could take a limited number of snaps at quarterback, while also contributing as a skill player and on special teams. He’s certainly big enough to be a factor in that sense, at 6-foot-2, 210 pounds.
Would the Patriots be interested in such a player? Ahead of the team’s 2021 meeting with the Falcons, Bill Belichick raved about then-rookie Felipe Franks, who was a quarterback in college but played a similar role for Atlanta.
“If you look at a guy like [Felipe] Franks who is similar to [Taysom] Hill from New Orleans, plays quarterback, but he also plays tight end, and he also plays in the kicking game. He’s out there banging heads with linebackers, running backs and everyone else on special teams,” Belichick said at the time. “Is he a tight end? Is he a quarterback? Again, he’s on the field, it goes kind of back to the Hill conversation. He’s on the field, but you really don’t know where he’s going to line [up]. That makes it hard to call defenses if you know he’s in the backfield or behind a center or where he is. Those kinds of things cause problems.”
Could Perry be the one to create those sorts of problems on behalf of the Patriots? If the team wants to add him, it will likely take a late Day 3 pick.
Perry isn’t the only dual-threat quarterback the Patriots have met with during the pre-draft process. Miami QB D’Eriq King also worked out for the team earlier this month.
Oct 23, 2021; Louisville, Kentucky, USA; Boston College Eagles offensive lineman Zion Johnson (77) and Boston offensive lineman Tyler Vrabel (78) prepare to block the defensive line during the first quarter of play at Cardinal Stadium. Louisville defeated Boston College 28-14. Credit: Jamie Rhodes-USA TODAY Sports
The Patriots’ other meeting on the books is with Perry’s former Boston College teammate, offensive lineman Tyler Vrabel. Vrabel is the son of former Patriots linebacker and current Tennessee Titans head coach Mike Vrabel.
Tyler was a three year starter for the Eagles, playing in 34 games with experience at left and right tackle. In all three seasons, he was named an All-ACC honorable mention.
Vrabel has the athleticism to be a swing tackle in the NFL, but there are concerns about his frame on the outside. He may end up playing guard at the next level. He’s currently projected as a priority UDFA.
With Perry and Vrabel added to the list, the Patriots currently have 37 pre-draft meetings on the books. Here’s a look at all the players they’ve reportedly spoken with…
2022 Patriots pre-draft meeting tracker
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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? Looking for a podcast guest? Let him know on Twitter @RealAlexBarth or via email at abarth@985TheSportsHub.com.