With NFL free agency slowly winding down, the focus across the league is starting to shift toward the draft. The league’s annual player selection meeting will take place in Nashville a little over one month from now, which means that we are now entering the home stretch of player evaluation and workouts. The biggest part of this phase are the pro days held at the various colleges — with the New England Patriots right in the thick of it.
Head coach and the de facto general manger Bill Belichick, for example, took a trip to the South to visit two of college football’s powerhouses in Alabama and Georgia. His team, of course, has never shied away from investing in players from the two schools — with four alumni currently on the team’s pay roll in Alabama’s Dont’a Hightower and Georgia’s Sony Michel, David Andrews, and Isaiah Wynn.
All four men are expected to (again, in the first three cases) play major roles for the Patriots next season, as might some of the club’s potential draft targets from the schools. Tight end Irv Smith Jr, safety Deionte Thompson and defensive edge Christian Miller could very well be on the team’s radar from Alabama. The same goes for Georgia’s prospects: from wide receiver Riley Ridley to edge defenders D’Andre Walker and Jonathan Ledbetter.
When it comes to Boston College, the Patriots appear to look at a smaller group: offensive line coach Dante Scarencchia was at the team’s pro day on Wednesday and later met with b both tackle Aaron Monteiro and versatile interior lineman Chris Lindstrom. While Monteiro is projected to be a late-round prospect at best, Lindstrom could very well hear his name called on the first day of the draft.
“Coach Scarnecchia ran our position drills, and then I went up and did an interview and stuff so it was really cool. It was great meeting him. He’s a great coach, and he told me to keep working because there is still a month and a half before the draft,” Lindstrom told the Boston Herald’s Rich Thompson after the session. With the Patriots losing both Trent Brown and LaAdrian Waddle through free agency, the the 6’4, 305 lbs lineman could be on their radar as a potential replacement option.