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Patriots 2020 pre-draft tracker: Interviews, workouts, meetings, analysis, and more

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Find out who New England is taking a close look at in the pre-draft process.

Draft season is in full swing, which means that the New England Patriots will be busy doing interviews, working out NFL prospects or inviting them to one of up to 30 pre-draft visits. With the scouting combine taking place this week, expect plenty of news to come your way.

Make sure, therefore, to check out our interview and meetings tracker regularly to find out who the Patriots have already spoken to or worked out with to the best of our knowledge.

East-West Shrine Game

WR Malcolm Perry, Navy (5094, 186 lbs): The former Navy quarterback is trying to make the switch to either wide receiver or running back upon entering the NFL. His athletic skillset certainly is intriguing and should allow him to successfully make the position change: he is a talented and dangerous player with the football in his hands that could be a late-round target for New England or priority free agent. (via Zack Cox)

Senior Bowl

RB Eno Benjamin, Arizona State (5090, 195 lbs): One of the better running back prospects in this year’s draft, Benjamin is an elusive player who has the tools to succeed at the next level but needs to improve his vision, patience and pass protection. At this point, he projects to be an early mid-round selection as a potential change-of-pace back. (via Jordan Reed)

WR Antonio Gandy-Golden, Liberty (6035, 222 lbs): Gandy-Golden is a tall outside receiver, who offers upside as a red zone weapon. His route running and raw technique make him a developmental prospect at best, however, and will likely lead to him being selected rather late in the draft if at all. (via Jonathan Adams)

TE Jared Pinkney, Vanderbilt (6040, 257 lbs): Pinkney, who also met with the Patriots at the combine, may not be the most impressive athlete the tight end position has to offer but he is capable of being a solid contributor as receiver and a blocker at the next level. He is certainly capable of becoming a solid number two option in the NFL. (via Andrew Callahan)

WR Van Jefferson, Florida (6014, 200 lbs): The son of former Patriots wide receiver Shawn Jefferson is one of the top wide receiver prospects in this year’s draft: Jefferson is a technician as his nuanced route tree illustrates, and brings good hands and a pro-ready level of athleticism to the table. While he won’t wow you with his straight-line speed, he is capable of being a day one starter at the next level. (via Ryan Hannable)

OG Jonah Jackson, Ohio State (6035, 306 lbs): One of the better interior offensive linemen prospects in this year’s class, Jackson brings impressive size and mobility to the table. He already projects to be a starting-caliber blocker due to his refined technique in the running and the passing game, and his versatility to line up both at guard and center. (via Mark Daniels)

RB Darius Anderson, TCU (5105, 208 lbs): Anderson needs to get more patient as a runner and improve his vision to find consistent success in the NFL, but his burst to the outside and receiving skills make him a potential change-of-pace option. He does bring considerable experience and proven production to the table, though, and finished 2019 with 173 touches for 951 yards and six touchdowns. (via Evan Lazar)

Combine

TE Adam Trautman, Dayton (6050, 255 lbs): Trautman may be a small-school prospect, but he is one of the fastest rising tight ends in this year’s draft after an impressive showing at the Senior Bowl: a big and powerful player with proven production in the passing game, he needs improve his blocking technique and show that he can succeed against better competition. his physical tools, however, are intriguing. (via Mark Schofield)

TE Hunter Bryant, Washington (6022, 248 lbs): Possibly the best pure receiving tight end in this class, Bryant brings both an impressive athletic skillset and positional versatility to the table: he can successfully line up all over the formation. While he is a developmental prospect in terms of his blocking, he has the tools to be a day-one starter at the next level as a move tight end. (via Andrew Callahan)

TE Stephen Sullivan, LSU (6047, 248 lbs): While entering draft season far from the top of the tight end rankings due to his blocking that needs considerable work before being up to NFL standards, Sullivan has the combination of size and athleticism to potentially find success as a developmental receiver at the next level. (via Mark Daniels)

QB Jake Fromm, Georgia (6017, 219 lbs): Fromm offers starting upside due to his high football IQ and decision making, but is not as gifted a thrower as other quarterbacks in this year’s draft class. Still, he has plenty of positive tools to develop and could take the next step if landing in an offense not relying on him to make plays with his feet or arm strength. (via Karen Guregian)

WR K.J. Hill, Ohio State (5117, 196 lbs): Hill caught a school-record 201 passes during his career at Ohio State despite working with four different starting quarterbacks, and projects as a mid-round selection in the draft. He is a strong route runner whose quickness and size could make him a productive player out of the slot at the next level. Hill was worked out by Patriots assistant Troy Brown. (via Zack Cox)

WR Tee Higgins, Clemson (6035, 216 lbs): Higgins is a big pass catcher that plays with good speed and strength and also has been a willing blocker in the running game at Clemson. While his route tree needs to be expanded, his production — 59 catches for 1,167 yards and 13 touchdowns this season — and athletic skillset make him a potential target for New England in April. (via Henry McKenna)

WR K.J. Hamler, Penn State (5085, 178 lbs): Hamler brings all the necessary tools to the table to succeed as a slot receiver at the next level: he is an outstanding route runner and also possesses the quickness to win one-on-ones as well as create yards after the catch in the short or intermediate area of the field. While not the most physical player due to his size, he does have considerable potential. (via Zack Cox)

TE Jacob Breeland, Oregon (6047, 252 lbs): Coming off a knee injury that cut his senior year at Oregon short, Breeland enters draft season as a potential late-round selection. Even though he lacks athleticism and is a work in progress as a blocker, he possesses the size and hands to find success as a rotational receiving tight end. (via Henry McKenna)

WR Denzel Mims, Baylor (6027, 207 lbs): Due to his mix of size, physicality and catch radius, Mims should be able to find success as either an X- or a Z-receiver in the NFL. The Baylor product needs to work on the technical side of playing the position and improve his route tree, but his athletic profile and steady production make make him a player to watch. (via Doug Kyed)

QB Jordan Love, Utah State (6036, 224 lbs): Love is a high-ceiling quarterback capable of becoming a starting option in today’s NFL due to his combination of arm strength and pocket mobility. He likely needs some time to adjust to the game speed at the next level and to improve his decision making, but as a developmental option he is a strong early-round candidate. (via Karen Guregian)

QB Jake Luton, Oregon State (6061, 224 lbs): While his 6-foot-6 frame stands out, Luton also brings the necessary arm talent and feel for pressure to the table to find success in the NFL. He is not ready to be a starting quarterback in the league just yet, however, and needs to clean up his mechanics to improve his long-term outlook. (via Henry McKenna)

WR Henry Ruggs III, Alabama (5110, 188 lbs): Ruggs is one of the best wide receivers to enter this year’s draft and a first-round prospect due to his elite speed and ability to make plays with the ball in his hands no matter the position on the field. While neither the biggest nor the most physical pass catcher, he is as refined a wideout as you will find in the college ranks and a candidate to be in impact player as early as day one. (via Mark Daniels)

WR James Proche, SMU (5105, 205 lbs): While he did see more snaps on the outside during the 2019 season, Proche is a slot receiver through and through due to his short-area quickness and ability to successfully find openings against zone coverage. His size and speed may not be impressive, but he offers a good foundation to develop. (via Doug Kyed)

WR Donovan Peoples-Jones, Michigan (6015, 212 lbs): Even though he did not have elite production in college — the former five-star recruit had just 103 receptions for 1,327 yards and 14 touchdowns in three seasons at Michigan — Peoples-Jones is an intriguing prospect due to his hands in combination with his size and athleticism. Given his upside he is projected to come off the board early on day two of the draft. (via Zack Cox)

WR Michael Pittman, USC (6040, 223 lbs): Pittman may not be the most impressive athlete on the field, but he wins due to his size in combination with his physical approach and good hands. The 22-year-old offers potential as a matchup specific receiver at the next level that can find success along the sidelines and as a red zone receiver. (via Mark Daniels)

WR Jalen Reagor, TCU (5105, 206 lbs): Reagor is another early-round prospect capable of making an immediate impact in the NFL: he offers tremendous playing speed and is a solid route runner that consistently puts himself in a position to make plays. While struggling a bit with drops in college, he has the upside to serve as a starting-caliber Z-receiver right away. (via Evan Lazar)

K Tyler Bass, Georgia Southern (5100, 183 lbs): A three-time selection to the Sun Belt Conference’s first or second all-star team, Bass was a serviceable kicker for Georgia Southern throughout his career. His field goal success rate went down a bit in 2019 — he made 54 of 68 attempts (71.4%), with two of his misses being blocked — but he made all 36 of his extra point tries and also looked good doing kickoffs. (via Ryan Hannable)

OC Jake Hanson, Oregon (6044, 303 lbs): Hanson is a developmental center that needs to refine his technique and become stronger at the point of attack. Still, he brings considerable experience to the table and has the necessary football intelligence to succeed at his position at the next level. (via Evan Lazar)

OG Solomon Kindley, Georgia (6033, 337 lbs): A former teammate of Patriots left tackle Isaiah Wynn, Kindley is a massive blocker on the interior who might need to get a bit leaner at the next level to improve his quickness and mobility as a zone or pull blocker. That being said, he has a strong anchor and is physical at the point of attack. (via Andy Hart)

OT Lucas Niang, TCU (6060, 315 lbs): Despite coming off a season-ending hip injury, Niang is expected to come off the board no later than round two. After all, he has prototypical size to find success as an NFL offensive tackle, and has looked good as both a run blocker and a pass protector at TCU. He may need some time to become a starter at the next level, but his upside cannot be denied. (via Mark Daniels)

OC Cesar Ruiz, Michigan (6028, 307 lbs): A versatile player that started both at center and guard at Michigan, and projects to find success in both man- and zone-blocking schemes at the next level, Ruiz has the potential to be a day one starter in the NFL. He is surprisingly nimble for his size and has the functional strength to win both on the move and when asked to block defenders one-on-one. (via Evan Lazar)

OT Terence Steele, Texas Tech (6059, 312 lbs): Steele needs to prove himself capable of winning through technique rather than his athleticism and build, but he has the raw tools to become an impact player: he has the size and length, and has shown some flashes as a pass protector in college. Overall, though, he probably needs some time to become an NFL-ready tackle. (via Mark Daniels)

OG Logan Stenberg, Kentucky (6060, 317 lbs): While neither the most technically sound interior offensive lineman nor an athletically impressive one yet, Stenberg is not afraid to get physical and knows how to overpower defenders at the point of attack. Despite being built like a tackle, he has the reach to succeed at guard. (via Andrew Callahan)

OT Matt Peart, Connecticut (6066, 318 lbs): A converted guard, who should be capable of moving back to the interior if asked to do so, Peart offers impressive mobility for a player his size and has the length and foundational skills to become a starter in the NFL no matter where he lines up. While he needs to improve his footwork, his foundation is a strong one already. (via Ryan Hannable)

OG Shane Lemieux, Oregon (6039, 310 lbs): What Lemieux lacks in quickness and flexibility, he makes up for with a consistent technique and impressive upper body strength. He is better suited as a man-to-man blocker and more proven in the running game at this point in his development, but he has the foundation to evolve. (via Mark Daniels)

OT Austin Jackson, USC (6049, 322 lbs): Jackson’s upside is intriguing as he has all the physical tools needed to become a starting-caliber lineman at the next level: he moves well, has good strength, and has the build to succeed in the running and passing game. That being said, his technique needs to improve across the board before he can consistently be trusted to block NFL talent. (via Evan Lazar)

OT Alex Taylor, South Carolina State (6083, 308 lbs): Taylor offers impressive length at 6-foot-8 but still has room for growth both in terms of adding to his frame and his overall feel for the game. Nevertheless, his upside is intriguing and some time as a backup might help him to refine his technique to take advantage of his size. (via Andrew Callahan)

RB Joshua Kelley, UCLA (5105, 212 lbs): A productive between-the-tackles runner who offers comparatively little in the passing game as a receiver and a blocker, Kelley is a powerful ball-carrier who wins with his strength and vision rather than pure speed. While his numbers decreased a little in 2019, he still finished with 1,060 rushing yards and 12 touchdowns on 229 carries. (via Zack Cox)

WR Tyrie Cleveland, Florida (6024, 209 lbs): Cleveland is a taller wide receiver capable of challenging the deep portions of the field — as evidenced by his career average of 16.1 yards per reception — due to his straight-line speed. That being said, he needs to expand his route tree in order to find consistent success in the NFL. (via Andrew Callahan)

OC Lloyd Cushenberry III, LSU (6031, 312 lbs): After helping LSU win the National Championship Game, Cushenberry enters the draft as one of the more intriguing interior offensive line prospects available. A technician who offers ideal size and plenty of experience, the 22-year-old is a candidate to play both center and guard at the next level. (via NFL Draft)

DT Raekwon Davis, Alabama (6061, 311 lbs): Davis brings a strong foundation, prowess as a run-stopper and positional versatility to the table. While his pass-rushing left a lot to be desired at the collegiate level, the right coaching might make him an intriguing high-upside selection on day two considering his athletic profile and prototypical build for a five-technique defensive tackle. (via Evan Lazar)

DT Ross Blacklock, TCU (6031, 290 lbs): A high-upside prospect who should only get better two years removed from an Achilles injury that cost him his entire 2018 season, Blacklock is a developmental interior defensive lineman who brings some intriguing tools to the table: he has good size and technique, and also experience playing in a two-gap scheme. (via Mike Dussault)

DE Bradlee Anae, Utah (6033, 257 lbs): While not the most athletically imposing edge defender, Anae is a scrappy player who performed well at Utah despite seeing a lot of snaps week-to-week. His already sound technique and experience in multiple roles — rusher in the passing game and edge-setter in the running game among them — make him a potential day two option. (via Evan Lazar)

LB Patrick Queen, LSU (6002, 229 lbs): Queen may be a bit undersized and therefore best suited to play exclusively off the ball, but he is still a good fit for today’s pass-oriented game. After all, the 20-year-old possesses tremendous speed and mobility to successfully play sideline-to-sideline, and outstanding read-and-react skills. The potential first-round pick could very well be a day one starter at the next level. (via Evan Lazar)

LB Josh Uche, Michigan (6012, 245 lbs): Uche is an intriguing developmental prospect that is only just scratching the surface of his potential. While his raw numbers at Michigan do not stand out — he had just 15.5 sacks in his four years at Michigan — his raw athletic skillset could make him a productive player if inserted into the right defensive system. (via Zack Cox)

FS Xavier McKinney, Alabama (6003, 201 lbs): McKinney is one of the best safety prospects to enter this year draft and projected to come off the board in the first round. It is not hard to see why: he is a sound tackler, possesses the range to cover sideline-to-sideline, and is capable of playing numerous roles all over the defensive backfield. Add high football IQ and you got a player with the potential to make an impact on day one. (via Zack Cox)

LB Kenneth Murray, Oklahoma (6024, 241 lbs): The Oklahoma product is one of the better linebacker prospects to enter the draft this year. He possesses tremendous speed and flexibility to find success as a downhill defender and in coverage, and has the size and processing skills you would want from an off-the-ball linebacker. While he needs to get more consistent in his decision making, his ceiling is a high one. (via Evan Lazar)

DE Trevis Gipson, Tulsa (6033, 261 lbs): Gipson offers good size for an edge defender and also has the experience and physicality to succeed in this role at the next level. That being said, he is a work in progress: the 22-year-old has to improve his technique as both a run defender and a pass rusher, and will therefore likely only have a limited impact in year one. (via Evan Lazar)

QB Justin Herbert, Oregon (6062, 236 lbs): Herbert is one of the top quarterback prospects to enter this year’s draft and could very well become the third player at the position to come off the board. It is not hard to see why considering his skillset — tremendous arm talent, size and mobility — in combination with his upside. Herbert will therefore likely become a first-round draft pick. (via Peter King)

Pro Days

LB Logan Wilson, Wyoming (6021, 241 lbs): The former defensive back may not have be the most electrifying athlete, but he has the size and experience to work as a coverage linebacker at the next level. Wilson is largely a developmental prospect, though, that will likely not come off the board before the third day of the draft. (via Tony Pauline)

Private visits

OG Michael Onwenu, Michigan (6025, 344 lbs): Onwenu’s frame — 344 pounds at not quite 6-foot-3 — stands out, but he also has the play strength to go along with it: the Michigan product is impressive at the point of attack and brings a physical edge to the position. His overall athleticism may not be impressive, but he has some tools to work with as a developmental late-round selection. (via Justin Melo)

Video calls/FaceTime meetings

OT Ezra Cleveland, Boise State (6060, 311 lbs): A raw talent that likely needs some development before being able to compete as a starting-caliber offensive tackle at the next level, Cleveland delivered an impressive combine workout: the Boise State product ran the fastest three-cone drill and shuttle among all offensive linemen and was one of just three linemen to finish the 40-yard dash in under five seconds. (via Justin Melo)

OG Damien Lewis, LSU (6020, 327 lbs): Lewis, who also had a meeting with the Patriots at the scouting combine, enters the draft as a developmental prospect along the interior offensive line. He offers good strength and plays the game with a physical edge, but needs to get more consistent in applying his technique and positioning himself well in zone blocking schemes. (via Justin Melo)

DE Kenny Willekes, Michigan State (6035, 264 lbs): Willekes is a big-bodied edge defender capable of setting the edge in the running game and making plays with his high motor and sound technique. The 22-year-old may not have the biggest ceiling due to his comparatively limited athleticism, but his experience in combination with a solid overall skillset project well at the next level. (via Justin Melo)

DT Raequan Williams, Michigan State (6040, 308 lbs): While his starter upside appears to be limited, Williams does offer value as a rotational depth player capable of serving in a two-gap scheme like the one run by the Patriots. That said, he is a raw prospect that needs to improve his technique to make up for a lack of explosive power. (via Justin Melo)

OT Josh Jones, Houston (6050, 319 lbs): Jones is considered one of the top offensive tackles prospects this year, and might hear his name called as early as the first round. He brings a tremendous athletic skillset to the table, has a high ceiling as both a run blocker and a pass protector, is capable of lining up on both the left and the right side, and has had good production during his four years as a starter for the Cougars. (via Aaron Wilson)

QB James Morgan, Florida International (6037, 223 lbs): Morgan needs to improve his decision making to succeed at the next level but brings an intriguing combination or arm talent, pocket awareness and accurate ball placement to the table. While he is not projected to become an early-round selection in the draft, he has upside as a developmental mid- to late-round option. The Patriots also already met with Morgan at the East-West Shrine Game. (via Mike Reiss)

WR Aaron Parker, Rhode Island (6015, 209 lbs): A bigger wide that should have success working the perimeter at the next level but is a bit raw around the edges, Parker is entering the draft coming off the most successful season of his college career: he caught 81 passes for 1,224 yards and nine touchdowns at Rhode Island in 2019. The Patriots and Parker also talked at the East-West Shrine Game. (via Yanni Kourakis)

SS Jalen Elliott, Notre Dame (6003, 205 lbs): Elliott may not be the most impressive athlete and sometimes is too aggressive when pursuing or taking angles, but he can still be a tone-setter and versatile chess-piece in a secondary: the hard-hitting defender has played numerous positions in Notre Dame’s defensive backfield, even though he did not shine in any one of them. Elliott therefore projects as a potential late-round pick. The Patriots and Elliott also talked at the scouting combine. (via Justin Melo)

SS Alohi Gilman, Notre Dame (5104, 201 lbs): While he has some physical restrictions and likely should not be trusted to play deep in single-high concepts, Gilman offers value as a strong safety aligning closer to the line of scrimmage. A potential Day Two selection, he has shown that he is capable of reading and reacting well to plays when charging downhill from a box alignment. (via Justin Melo)

DT Larrell Murchison, North Carolina State (6024, 297 lbs): Murchison brings a solid athletic foundation as well as plenty of experience to the table. A penetrator who is best suited to serve as an interior pass rusher, the late-round prospect will likely have to add mass to truly succeed in a two-gap scheme like New England’s. (via Justin Melo)

CB Cameron Dantzler, Mississippi State (6022, 188 lbs): One of the more intriguing cornerback prospects in this year’s draft and a potential Day Two selection, Dantzler’s stock was hurt a bit by a disappointing combine performance. Despite running the 40-yard dash in just 4.64 seconds, however, he can still find success as a at the next level due to his superb feel for routes and the length he offers. (via Justin Melo)

OT Robert Hunt, Louisiana (6051, 323 lbs): A solid run blocker that has experience at both tackle and guard, Hunt is a physical lineman who needs to clean up his technique a bit but offers a high ceiling on the interior. While his lack of agility may hurt his upside in a zone-blocking scheme, his foundation is a strong one to work with. (via Justin Melo)

LB Marcus Bailey, Purdue (6001, 235 lbs): Bailey may not be the most impressive athlete and enters the draft with durability concerns — he had two major knee injuries at Purdue, including one in 2019 — but he can be a valuable addition in one of the later rounds: he is a smart player that is capable of making an impact in both the passing and the running game, and should be able to contribute on special teams from Day One on. (via Mike Reiss)

DT Robert Windsor, Penn State (6044, 290 lbs): Windsor offers some enticing athletic traits but needs to improve across the board before being able to make a consistent impact at the next level: he is too undisciplined against the run and lacks the length to successfully play in a two-gap scheme, and also has had limited impact as a pass rusher. That said, he could find success as a rotational and situation-specific defender. (via Justin Melo)

QB Ben DiNucci, James Madison (6020, 211 lbs): A potential late-round target or priority free agent, DiNucci posted some solid numbers at James Madison in 2019: he completed 70.8% of his pass attempts (268 of 378) and threw for 3,441 yards as well as 29 touchdowns and just 6 interceptions — all while gaining 569 yards and scoring seven times on 122 carries. He offers some good talent, but needs to show that he can adept to NFL-speed and improve his decision making at the next level. (via Tony Pauline)

TE Josiah Deguara, Cincinnati (6023, 242 lbs): Even though his athleticism is nothing to write home about, Deguara is an interesting mid-round option that could instantly make an impact as a developmental number two tight end. He has upside as an in-line blocker, after all, and also possesses the versatility and skillset to be moved all over the formation as a receiving option. (via Justin Melo)

DE Alex Highsmith, Charlotte (6031, 248 lbs): Highsmith is a high-motor player who possesses the necessary athletic tools to build upon — size, burst, quickness — in order to leave a mark as a rotational edge defender with starter upside. That said, he does need to improve the technical side of his game both versus the pass and the run. (via Aaron Wilson)

DE Ron’Dell Carter, James Madison (6025, 265 lbs): A potential late-round selection or priority free agent, Carter’s size and athleticism may not wow anyone but he could have some upside as a developmental edge defender at the next level. He needs to prove himself against the competition he will face at the next level, but offers a solid foundation to build upon. (via Justin Melo)

DB Dayan Ghanwoloku, Brigham Young (5010, 197 lbs): Ghankwoloku started 43 games over his four years at BYU, and has experience as both a strong safety and nickel cornerback. That said, the projected undrafted rookie will likely have to leave his mark at the next level in the kicking game. (via Mitch Harper)

DT Darrion Daniels, Nebraska (6032, 311 lbs): After starting his career at Oklahoma State, Daniels transferred to Nebraska for his redshirt senior season and delivered the best campaign of his career serving as the team’s nose tackle: he had his moments playing downhill and was voted team captain in 2019. That said, the 22-year-old is expected to become a late-round selection at best. (via Aaron Wilson)

LB Mykal Walker, Fresno State (6030, 230 lbs): Walker is a versatile linebacker that can play on the edge and the line of scrimmage but also move back to the box and align off the ball. That said, he is a developmental late-round prospect who needs to improve his core strength to become more than just a role or kicking game player. (via Justin Melo)

Other meetings

OG John Molchon, Boise State (6053, 309 lbs): Molchon is a three-year starter that offers good size and experience playing both at guard and tackle at Boise State. While he lacks the athleticism to effectively serve as a pull blocker or consistently challenge powerful defensive tackles, he has solid technical foundation to build on. (via Andrew Callahan)

DE Tyshun Render, Middle Tennessee State (6040, 256 lbs): Despite not getting invited to the combine, the Patriots still found a way to work Render out: Bill Belichick flew to Murfreesboro to take a closer look at the defensive lineman. Bringing good size and experience to the table, the 22-year-old is projected to become a day three draft pick. (via Middle Tennessee State University)