Must be nice for Bill Belichick to get out of the snow and cold for a bit. After stopping by NC State’s Pro Day on Monday, Bill’s scouting trip took him a few hours south on Tuesday to Stephon Gilmore’s old stomping grounds, the University of South Carolina. And in a move that’ll be music to New England’s ears, it looks like all three of the players Belichick was particularly interested in happen to play positions where the Patriots sure could use some depth.
Since, as you may have noticed, the Patriots’ depth chart at tight end takes a slight drop going from Rob Gronkowski to Dwayne Allen and Jacob Hollister, Bill took some time to talk to Hayden Hurst, a projected early-round pick at tight end.
“He’s just a normal football coach,” Hurst said. “You get in the room with him and he just talks football, asks you about plays, your offense, things like that. It’s not that crazy. At first, when I walked in, I was like, ‘That’s the guy I see on TV,’ but you get used to it after a little while.”
Our man Evan Lazar broke down some of Hurst’s tape Tuesday afternoon, so go check that out to see what Hurst’s game is like. There’s a lot of potential to like, and like every prospect, there’s some work to be done, too. NFL.com’s draft profile compares him to Dallas Clark, and Evan thinks he’s more of a Hunter Henry type, both of which are pretty high compliments.
Here's a thread on #SouthCarolina TE Hayden Hurst. The #Patriots met with Hurst at the combine and he had a private meeting with BB at his Pro Day. Going to run a post against cover-2 here. Changes speeds and bursts at the top of the route to run by the LB. Impressive. pic.twitter.com/nutEI6IRGc— Evan Lazar (@ezlazar) March 21, 2018
Linebackers, on the other hand, are arguably the Patriots’ biggest need going into the 2018 season, and Belichick also spent some time with OLB Skai Moore breaking down the entire South Carolina-Clemson game from last year (where South Carolina got thoroughly whooped by Clemson 34-10).
.@GamecockFB LB Skai Moore said he met w/ Bill Belichick for an hour yesterday. Said the two broke down the entire Clemson game, play-by-play. Says BB told he’s a great player while also discussing Moore’s personal life & time at South Carolina. Added that they talked in Indy too pic.twitter.com/Gw7abX170B— Mike Uva (@Mike_Uva) March 20, 2018
More from Skai on the meeting, courtesy of NESN:
“We were just talking about life, football, my career here,” he said, via The State. “Just normal stuff. Cool guy. We had a great talk. Nothing too crazy. He’s real down to Earth. We just talked about the film. He said I was a good player.”
Bill must’ve taken it easy on him and not said anything about how Johnny from Foxborough High could’ve made that play.
Unlike Hurst, Moore may not even get drafted at all; he’s a bit on the light side for a linebacker, weighing in at 221 while standing 6’2’’. NFL.com has him projected as a Day 3 pick or potential undrafted free agent, which is particularly interesting given that New England’s paid undrafted free agents like Harvey Langi just as much as late-round picks in recent history.
Finally, The State’s report also says Belichick met with defensive tackle Taylor Stallworth, a 6’2’’ 312-lb nose tackle that’s started every game for South Carolina for the past two seasons. And for a New England defensive line that seriously struggled to get any pressure on quarterbacks this past year, a player like Stallworth may be just the type of player to help, according to Pro Football Focus:
South Carolina's Taylor Stallworth was solid both in run defense and rushing the passer in 2017 pic.twitter.com/GAyow2VS1n— PFF Draft (@PFF_College) February 6, 2018
Stallworth said Belichick and Gamecocks coach Will Muschamp “are similar.”
Belichick “is more intense, but Muschamp is right around there,” Stallworth said.
Stallworth’s a projected Day 3 pick as well.
And hey, even if none of these guys end up being Patriots in the end, at least we can have some fun playing “Where in the World is Bill Belichick Today?” for the next couple weeks.