Graduating from college is one of the most amazing feelings some of us will ever experience. That being said, there’s no arguing the actual graduation ceremony itself sucks. You’re sitting in a packed auditorium (or, god forbid, outside) sweating your butt off (and possibly sweating out the night before), odds are you couldn’t care less about the speaker, there’s hundreds, if not thousands, of other people that’ll walk across the stage before you get your five seconds of glory, and then you have to spend the whole rest of the day smiling for pictures and hanging out with your family.
The newest Patriot, wide receiver Andrew Hawkins, recently did just that - after months of flying cross-country and hitting the books, Hawkins graduated from Columbia University with a Master’s degree in Sports Management. When you graduate from a school like that with a degree like that, you’re allowed to brag on yourself a little bit.
That’s by far the most clever graduation cap I’ve seen since this one:
So with that on the table, the biggest question was why the Patriots even bothered signing Hawkins in the first place. That’s no slight on Hawkins, who barbecued Cyrus Jones for a touchdown last season - it’s more a tribute to how freaking stacked the 2017 Pats are at wideout.
Look at his graduation cap again, though - that short shuttle time of 4.0 seconds is right in line with what the Patriots really love at wide receiver, and really, in any player. Quickness, not necessarily of the straight-line variety, but quick-twitch movement, the kind that puts defensive backs on roller skates.
Here’s how that stacks up to some other current Patriots, and a couple that recently left for greener wallets:
Brandin Cooks (WR): 3.81 seconds
Julian Edelman (WR): 3.92 seconds
Justin Coleman (CB): 3.98 seconds
Nate Ebner (S): 4.04 seconds
Logan Ryan (CB): 4.06 seconds
Devin McCourty (S): 4.07 seconds
Chris Hogan (WR): 4.15 seconds
James White (RB): 4.22 seconds
Danny Amendola (WR): 4.25 seconds
The odds of Hawkins landing on the 53-man roster are still pretty rough. With quickness like that, though, he’s definitely a phone number the Patriots will want to save in case (knock on wood) something happens with Danny Amendola or Julian Edelman - both guys that have struggled through injuries and are both 31 years old.
One more thing - the NFL did just approve a rule that now allows teams to bring two players back from Injured Reserve, not just one, like before. So again, prayers up to the football gods, this won’t even be on the Patriots’ radar, but if something does go down with an injury, Hawkins could very well sub in while the injured wideout heals up on Injured Reserve to make sure they’re back for a Super Bowl run.
And if he does see the field in blue and silver, maybe Hawkins can check into the history books as the 65th man to catch a touchdown from TB12.