TODAY’S TOPIC: Belichick Hard at Work on the Scouting Trail
The Patriots may not have a first round pick in the upcoming draft, but that hasn’t caused Bill Belichick to change his approach this offseason.
New England’s head coach spent Monday scouting players with Nick Caserio at Auburn University, taking a good long look at prospects during the Tigers’ Pro Day.
According to the University’s website, Belichick was there taking notes while watching players like receivers Ricardo Louis and Melvin Ray, who were part of a total of 14 prospects working out for the representatives of the 31 teams who were on hand. Those additional names included defensive backs Jonathan Jones and Blake Countess, running back Peyton Barber, offensive linemen Shon Coleman, Devonte Danzey and Avery Young, linebackers Kris Frost, Justin Garrett and Cassanova McKinzy, defensive linemen Keymiya Harrell and DaVonte Lambert, as well as wide receivers Lewis, Ray, and D’haquille Williams.
It’s tough to say which players caught Belichick’s eye, but given the Patriots’ offensive line needs, one name that stood out was Coleman. He’s a 6’6″, 305-pound tackle who is projected to be a second-round pick, which might be a potential fit for the Patriots. He’s coming off of a slight tear in the MCL of his right knee that Dr. James Andrews, the same doctor who repaired Rob Gronkowski’s knee, performed surgery on back in January. However, he’s also a player who falls into a similar storyline as Marcus Cannon, who overcame non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, with Coleman having survived a battle with Leukemia. Coleman didn’t participate in Monday’s workout but reports say he’s expected to be healthy enough to be ready by the time NFL minicamps begin. He’s got some upside and could give some quality depth behind starters Nate Solder and Sebastian Vollmer and is among some of the higher-ranked tackles in the draft.
He got a ringing endorsement from Auburn coach Gus Malzahn, who told AL.com that he’s excited to see how Coleman develops at the next level.
“He’s a football savvy guy. He’s a leader,” Malzahn told AL.com. “He’s a mature guy. I think his upside is unbelievable. I think he’ll be a big-time left tackle for someone. It’s going to be fun to watch him develop at the next level.”
It’s obviously a little early to make any projections, but the Patriots discovered one player from Auburn last year, with undrafted free agent Brandon King ultimately becoming a contributor for New England in his first year with the club. Whether or not that happens again this year will come down to if Belichick saw enough in any of the players he looked at Monday for them to generate any interest. But either way, Belichick’s still out there grinding away as the preparation continues in anticipation of 2016.
Today’s 5 Best Links:
1) Patriots great Ty Law on Peyton Manning: ‘He helped push my game’ – Mike Reiss (ESPN Boston) – Former Patriots cornerback Ty Law feels Manning went out the right way and was glad to be a part of each of the battles the teams had against each other.
2) 5 Free Agents Who Make Sense For Patriots With New League Year Approaching – Ryan Hannable (WEEI) – Hannable gives his thoughts on some free agents who could be a great fit in New England.
3) Logan Mankins’ retirement sparks memories of his time with Patriots – Mike Reiss (ESPN Boston) – Reiss shares some interesting bits on his personal experiences covering Mankins, who is hanging up his cleats.
4) James Develin ‘Extremely Excited’ to Return to Patriots Next Season – (NESN) – With Develin now back in the mix, he’s excited to get back to work after missing 2015 due to injury.
5) Patriots free agent outlook: Wide receiver – Tom Curran (CSNNE) – Curran gives a great take on the wide receiver position along with some potential targets he feels would be a good fit.
– Picking the best free-agent signing ever for all 32 NFL teams – ESPN picks who they feel was a key acquisition and the name they picked for the Patriots is certainly fitting given his contributions here.
– Titans to acquire RB DeMarco Murray from Eagles – The Eagles are sending running back DeMarco Murray to the Titans in a move that will add a rusher to the Titans’ backfield.
– Jets’ Ryan Fitzpatrick expected to hit open market – Marc Sessler (NFL.com) – In a surprising move, Fitzpatrick appears headed to the open market after both he and the Jets haven’t been able to reach an aagreement on a long-term deal.
QUOTE OF THE DAY:
“The way he played football, and the way he was consumed by football, all the mental energy he had to use, and I mean every day of the year you’re thinking about it—imagine what he must feel like with all that pressure off. Twelve months a year, the time commitment, the mental commitment, I can tell you it never leaves you. You are constantly trying to be better, constantly striving to learn more. Think about how long he’s been a great quarterback. For Peyton, the pressure’s probably off for the first time in his life. Imagine how that feels.” – Tom Brady on Peyton Manning’s retirement via MMQB
SOCIAL POST OF THE DAY:
James Develin reacts to being able to stay a Patriot:
Posted Under: Patriots Commentary