The final stage of the NFL pre-draft process begins next week with ‘top 30 visits.’ After meeting with prospects at events like the Senior Bowl, Shrine Bowl, Combine, and pro days, in the weeks leading up to the draft teams are permitted to host prospects at their own facilities – but are limited to 30 such visits (prospects from schools within 50 miles of the team facility don’t count against the 30). These visits can include things from sit-downs to physicals to workouts.
Calling these visits ‘top 30’ is a bit of a misnomer though. They’re not always used on the players teams view as the 30 best in the draft. Instead, teams will host players from up and down the draft board they want to get to know better. When it comes to the first reported top 30 for the Patriots though, it’d be hard to imagine he’s not in the top 30 spots on their big board.