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Patriots Talk: Which Undrafted Rookie Will Make The 53-Man Roster?

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Patriots Talk: Which Undrafted Rookie Will Make The 53-Man Roster?

Many players will wonder what they should expect come to the pre-season as that will be the ultimate test to prove their worth to their coaches. However, expectations are hard to meet come game-time when the pressure is on. Many players that are drafted are considered more than likely to stay on the roster but undrafted players are lucky if they make the practice squad.

The New England Patriots are a team that this off-season has signed well over 19 undrafted free agents. Now there quite a long list but to fill out the 90 man roster, there are quite a few names that will likely not make the mentions. The total rookies that have been signed currently to the Patriots are:

 

The Patriots drafted Derek Rivers, Antonio Garcia, Detrich Wise, and Conner McDermont in the 2017 NFL Draft. They will likely at least make the practice squad with Rivers and Garcia likely to be backups at their retrospective positions. For the rest, they will be fortunate to make it until August especially rookie [defensive lineman] Vereen Corey out of Tennessee is has been on injured reserve this off-season. The main names that have stood out are:

 

These six have been given the most attention so far out of all the Patriots Undrafted Free agent class and one who stands out the most is rookie Linebacker Harvey Langi. He was signed to over $115,000 contract deal with the team which was more than any other free agent this year. Langi appeared in 36 games over three seasons at Brigham Young University (21) and registered 139 tackles, 6.5 sacks, two interceptions, one forced fumble and three passes defended at the Linebacker position.

 

Jacob Hollister (left side) is a very interesting case, he was brought in along with his twin brother Cody Hollister during the same week after the draft ended. According to some sources, the Patriot wanted Jacob badly and he would only agree to sign if they took his brother, who played Wide Receiver at the University of Arkansas (right side).

It’s unknown how valid that is but the Hollister twins will be seen often on the offense together during reps and Jacob will be trying to compete against veteran Matt Lengal for the third Tight End spot. Jacob played in 30 games at Wyoming and caught 75 passes for 1,114 yards and 12 touchdowns. Also rushed twice for 48 yards and one touchdown. Most productive season came as a senior in 2016 when he racked up 32 receptions for 515 yards and seven touchdowns.

David Jones is the darkhorse among these 6 players. His ability to play as a defensive back is very much something to watch out for. He has best been described as a intelligent player and a late-bloomer, who only during his senior season, added relatively sudden mass to his frame and might be able to carry more moving forward.

(Weighed less than 180 pounds to weighing in at 210 when coming to the Patriots) It’s unknown by how much he can stand out as he will be competing against Jordan Richards and fellow rookie Jason Thompson for a spot at the strong safety position. He comes the University of Richmond (13) and played in 41 games and registered 195 tackles, 14 interceptions, six passes defended, two fumble recoveries and two forced fumbles.

He led the FCS with nine interceptions as a junior in 2015 and his four interceptions against Albany tied the single-game NCAA record. He missed the last half of his 2016 season due to a fractured elbow, so there will be durability concerns going into training camp.

Then of course, there is D.J. Killings. The defensive back prospect came out of UCF (24), he played in 34 games and registered over 99 tackles, one sack, five interceptions (one pick-six), 17 passes defended and one forced fumble. He was also a member of the 2013 American Athletic Conference All-Academic Team.In terms of value and money, Killings received $31,000 guaranteed upon signing with the Patriots, which is just behind Langi and Hollister for the most by an undrafted free agent in this year’s class.

In terms of ability, when watching Killings on the field, he shows flashes of competitive fire and moments of versatility that the Patriots are very well-known to take highly. A prime example was in one game against South Florida, Killings lined up on the sideline, in the slot, at free safety, and then converted in the box in coverage with the tight end. He will likely compete at the Free-Safety position with rookie Damarius Travis for the final spot as both Nate Ebner and Brandon King are vital to Special Teams and it is unlikely he will take on veteran Devin McCourty.

Speaking of likely, there is also the shortest player among the undrafted class; William ‘Will’ Likely III. (That is seriously his full name) The young undrafted free agent was  quite a shock as a defensive back measuring in at only 5’7 and only 175 pounds, isn’t alot to impress most GMs and coaches but like Elanden Roberts was in last year’s draft, height doesn’t measure everything (including one’s drive).

Coming out of the University of Maryland (4), he played in 43 games during his college career and finished with 229 total tackles and seven interceptions.

As a Kick/Punt Returner, he returned 87 kicks for 2,233 yards with two touchdowns and returned 67 punts for 875 yards with four touchdowns. As a junior in 2015, he started one game as both a defensive back on defense and as a wide receiver on offense but his value dropped sadly during his senior in 2016, as he was limited to only six games due to injury. Will is a player that is likely going to have the most to prove out of everyone in this free agent class if he hopes to make the team.

And we will end this list with the most intriguing prospect out of all of them. Austin Carr is  a player that will be playing Wide Receiver and coming out of the Northwestern (80), the young man has already put together quite the resume.

He played in 36 career games and totaled 113 receptions for 1,649 yards and 14 touchdowns and set the single-season school record as a senior with 1,247 receiving yards and tied for second with 90 receptions. He also tied the school record with 12 touchdown receptions. His senior season was good enough to give him the Named Richter-Howard Big Ten Receiver of the Year and was a consensus First-Team All-Big Ten.

Carr has been primarily a player that has been effective in the slot and thrives at catching passes in traffic while running in and out of his routes and despite all his production in college, he was not seen to be worth a pick in this year’s draft despite being PFF’s top college receiver last year.

Carr will be competing with a very strong receiving core that helped in winning Super Bowl LI, and he will be a very thin cut to make come August.

New England Patriots

Patriots Talk: Josh McDaniels And The Colts Wouldn’t Have Worked Out

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A Case of Behind The Scenes

 

 

Josh McDaniels and the Patriots thought their time to depart after their tough loss in Super Bowl 52 was unavoidable. However, not only did Josh McDaniels get extended, but its been many rumors that Robert Kraft had contacted McDaniels literally hours before he was suppose to take off Tuesday for Indianapolis.

 

It’s difficult to know anything within the Patriots’ organization as they have remained firm in not explaining what goes on behind closed doors. However, multiple sources over at ESPN for the past week since the story broke out about McDaniels’ abrupt decision to not become the Indiapolis Colts Head Coach. The way things broke down was that Kraft and Bill Belichick got together and sat down with McDaniels. With Defensive coordinator, Matt Patricia going to Detroit, this seemed like a desperation move to maintain the coaching staff from the previous season.

 

However, according to ESPN writer Mike Reiss, there was more to the situation then just that. In one of his articles regarding the McDaniels’ decision, he stated:

 

Belichick offered to include McDaniels on more of the inner workings of the organization, from roster construction to financial/salary-cap related considerations. That was viewed as “extremely valuable” to McDaniels. Ownership also endorsed it as a way to extend Belichick’s influence on the organization in future years, although no assurances were given to McDaniels that he would succeed Belichick. McDaniels, who a source confirmed got a significant raise, has privately said in the past that he did not want to be the coach who succeeds Belichick. Although he since may have changed his mind, McDaniels knows Belichick, after five Super Bowl victories, will be a hard act to follow.

Beyond financial and professional stability, McDaniels also was thinking of his family. He wanted a long-term commitment from the Patriots so his four children, ages 12 to 3, would be able to attend the same schools over the next several years. The transient life of a coach doesn’t always make that possible.

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Former NFL Official Claims Eagles Used Illegal Play To Win Super Bowl

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Did you have doubts that the Eagles lined up correctly on the Nick Foles touchdown catch?

Well, you are not the only one with a former analyst now claiming that Philly was indeed lined up illegally on the play.

Appearing on the Talk of Fame Network, former head of officiating and FOX rules analyst Mike Pereira said the Eagles were in fact lined up illegally.

“I know the league came out and said that it’s a judgment call, which it is,” Pereira said, via Pro Football Talk. “The down judge, who was the one that [the play] was on his side of the field, they felt that it was his judgment, and [receiver Alshon Jeffrey] was close enough. Well, he wasn’t. They lined up wrong.

“Not only that, it’s a trick play. And if you’re going to run a trick-type play, then you have to be lined up properly. You could either have six men on the line, or you could have an ineligible number lined up at the end of the line, which was the case. I know what the league has said, but they would have been a lot more comfortable if they would have called an illegal formation.

“We always use a yard [within the line of scrimmage], maybe a yard-and-a-half. But that’s two [yards], and even a little bit beyond two. It’s kind of one of those that has no effect on the play. I get it. But they didn’t line up properly. And it really should’ve been called.”

Bottom line is it was simply a judgment call be the officials, might have been the completely wrong judgment, but based on what we know about Super Bowl LII the New England Patriots were never going to win the game. The Malcolm Butler benching paired with Doug Pederson‘s mindset of keeping his foot on the gas and exposing New England’s weaknesses were the reasons the Patriots lost the game, not this particular play.

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Boston Herald Runs Ron Borges’s Tom Brady Hoax Story

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Patriots

Thursday night Boston Herald reporter Ron Borges penned a story with this headline “Tom Brady wants to get paid like Jimmy G, or he’ll skip OTAs”. A headline and a story that was uncovered as a hoax on Friday.

The Kirk and Callahan show on WEEI revealed that one of their texters pretended to be Tom Brady’s agent Don Yee when texting Borges. The texter dubbed “Nick in Boston” informed Borges that Tom Brady intended to sit out New England’s preseason workouts unless he was paid like Jimmy Garoppolo who signed the largest deal in NFL history on Thursday.

K&C tweeted out the screenshots of texts with Borges outing the story as a complete and utter hoax.

Borges story was actually refuted right off the bat on Thursday night with both NBC Sports Boston and NESN claiming the story held no truth.

As for Borges, this is not his first major failure as a reporter. Since the Herald ran the story they are now looking into the matter.

Overall tricking Borges isn’t a great thing to do. Lying about someone’s identity is never nice with some reporters coming to the defense of Borges. But it is hard to have sympathy for a “journalist” that failed to check his sources and run with a story with only one source confirming of a major story.

Either way, there is no truth to a Brady holdout.

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