The New England Patriots know the importance of depth: the team had a total of 12 players listed on its final practice report yesterday, with 12 more currently on an injury-related reserve list (although one, rookie cornerback Duke Dawson, has already been designated to return). It is therefore no surprise to see the team regularly bring in free agents for workouts. According to ESPN Boston’s Mike Reiss, the team recently hosted three players.
TE Ben Koyack
Ben Koyack entered the NFL as a seventh-round draft pick by the Jacksonville Jaguars in 2015. After spending his entire rookie campaign on the team’s practice squad, he was able to make the Jaguars’ 53-man roster the following year as a depth tight end and special teamer. Over the next two seasons, the 6’5, 260 lbs tight end appeared in 33 games for the team, registering 26 receptions for 219 yards and a pair of touchdowns. Koyack was placed on injured reserve in early September and waived off the list shortly afterwards.
DB Dexter McCoil
After going undrafted in 2013 and failing to make the Oakland Raiders’ roster or practice squad, Dexter McCoil tried his luck in the Arena and Canadian leagues. In 2016, he returned to the NFL when the Los Angeles Chargers signed him to a contract. As a backup safety and core special teamer, he appeared in 18 games for the team before getting released early in the 2017 season. The 6’4, 220 lbs defender then joined the San Francisco 49ers, with whom he also opened the 2018 season before getting released earlier this month.
DB Obi Melifonwu
A second-round pick by the Oakland Raiders in 2017, Obi Melifonwu struggled with injury during his first two seasons in the NFL. The Connecticut product appeared in just five games during his rookie year in between two separate stints on injured reserve. In late August, the Raiders waived the 24-year old with an injury designation and subsequently again placed him on IR. Earlier this week, the team parted ways with him. While Melifonwu’s injury history is a concern, he undoubtably has the highest ceiling of the three players brought in by the Patriots.