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2019 NFL combine: Setting the stage for day 5, position groups, schedule, prospects to watch for the Patriots, open thread

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Welcome to day five of this year’s combine.

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Iowa v Purdue Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images

Saturday is traditionally one of the busiest days of the scouting combine as quarterbacks, wide receivers, and tight ends all have their on-field workouts. Safe to say that there will be plenty to watch today, so to keep you up to date, here is a quick primer on what will happen as well as what and who the New England Patriots in particular might take a closer look at.


Players’ schedule

Group 4 (QB, WR), Group 5 (QB, WR), Group 6 (TE): On-Field Workout (timing, station, skill drills), Departure

Group 7 (DL), Group 8 (DL), Group 9 (LB): NFLPA Meeting, Psychological Testing, Media, Bench-Press, Interviews

Group 10 (DB), Group 11 (DB): Measurements, Medical Examination, Media, Interviews


Broadcast schedule

Today is the second day that the combine will be broadcast live from Indianapolis. Starting at 10:00 a.m. ET, NFL Network and the league’s affiliated services will air the on-field workouts:

Television: NFL Network

Radio: Sirius XM, TuneIn

Mobile: NFL Mobile app

Online: nfl.com/watch (login through cable provider), NFL Game Pass

NFL Network will also broadcast live on Sunday and Monday, starting at 10:00 a.m. and 9:00 a.m. ET, respectively.


On-field drills

40-yard dash: The most publicized event of the entire combine, the 40-yard dash measures a prospect’s acceleration and sustained vertical speed. Furthermore the interval times — the 10-yard split and the 20-yard split — give teams a clearer look on a player’s quickness and initial burst.

Vertical jump: The vertical measures a player’s leaping ability as well as his lower-body strength and explosion out of his position. The drill is especially important for skill position players on both sides of the ball.

Broad jump: Similar to the vertical jump, the horizontal broad jump tests a prospect’s lower-body explosion and strength as well as his balance in and out of his stance.

3-cone drill: The 3-cone drill tests agility and change of direction skills, and is therefore important for almost all position groups. Since 2010, the Patriots added seven defensive backs with a combine 3-cone time of under 6.75 seconds — a drill to watch, without a doubt.

Short shuttle: The short shuttle is a 20-yard running drill divided into portions of 5, 10 and 5 yards. It measures a player’s quickness, agility, burst, flexibility and short-area explosion.


Prospects to watch

TE Noah Fant, Iowa: Fant is considered one of the top tight ends in the draft, but is viewed as more of a receiving tight end compared to an all-around player. Still, he’d be an excellent addition to the Patriots and Iowa tight ends have a terrific track record.

QB Will Grier, West Virginia: Grier is considered one of the top quarterback prospects in the draft. While he had a tough Senior Bowl, he’s stood out as one of the best quarterbacks in the country over the past two seasons and would fit in nicely as a day two selection.

WR Andy Isabella, Massachusetts: At not quite 5’9, Isabella is one of the smallest skill position players available in this year’s draft, but he’s been the most productive receiver in college football in 2018. His speed and quickness drills will be must-sees.

QB Daniel Jones, Duke: Few quarterbacks are as popular a mock draft pick for New England as Daniel Jones. Today another piece is added to the puzzle: while his length will likely not be a problem, hand size will be the one measurement to keep an eye on. The Patriots usually prefer their passers to have bigger hands to be able to hold onto the football in the inclement New England weather.

WR Hunter Renfrow, Clemson: Renfrow has been mock drafted to the Patriots ever since his title game performance against Alabama and he would definitely fit in nicely as a slot receiver. Renfrow started his career as a walk-on, eventually being named the “top walk-on in the country” as a senior.

WR Riley Ridley, Georgia: One of the top wide receiver to enter this year’s draft, Riley Ridley could be an option for the Patriots in the late first or early second round. After all, the club has shown an affinity for Georgia prospects recently and the 6’2, 200 lbs wideout would fill one of the club’s biggest needs while becoming a high upside receiving option for quarterback Tom Brady.

WR Deebo Samuel, South Carolina: Samuel was a do-it-all player in college, producing as a receiver, rusher, and returnman, collecting 2,230 yards from scrimmage and scoring 23 touchdowns over 30 games. He’d be a nice addition to the Patriots offense.

TE Irv Smith Jr, Alabama: New England appears to be in the market for tight ends, and in case Iowa’s Noah Fant and T.J. Hockenson come off the board too early, Irv Smith Jr. might be the next best option. An excellent route-runner that lacks top-notch athleticism, his on-field workout and straight-line speed will be interesting to watch.

TE Jace Sternberger, Texas A&M: Jace Sternberger might be worth taking a mid-round flyer on: a natural athlete who needs to improve his route running and blocking technique, the Texas A&M product might catch the Patriots’ attention as a developmental option as a receiving tight end.