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2020 NFL combine: Setting the stage for Friday, position groups, schedule, prospects to watch for the Patriots

Related: Potential Patriots draft targets who helped or hurt their stock during Thursday’s combine workouts

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NFL Combine - Day 3 Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images

While the 2020 NFL scouting combine already began on Sunday with the arrival of the first group of players, the action will really pick up today as the first group of players will begin its on-field workouts: the quarterbacks, wide receivers and tight ends will be tested. The New England Patriots and their fans naturally have plenty to look forward to, as some of the prospects on display might very well end up with the team along the line.

To get a better overview of what will happen today as well as what and who the Patriots in particular might watch out for, please enjoy our combine primer.

Players’ schedule

Quarterbacks, Wide receivers, Tight ends: Departure

Running backs, Offensive linemen, Kickers, Special teamers: Limited testing/interviews, On-field workout

Defensive linemen, Linebackers: NFLPA Meeting, Interviews, Bench Press, Psychological Testing

Defensive backs: Media, Medical examination, Position coach interview, Psychological testing

Broadcast schedule

Today is the first day that the combine will be broadcast live from Indianapolis. Starting at 4:00 pm ET, NFL Network and the league’s affiliated services will air the on-field workouts of the quarterbacks, wide receivers and tight ends:

Television: NFL Network, ESPN (7:00 pm — 8:00 pm)

Radio: Sirius XM

Mobile: NFL Mobile app, Watch ESPN

Online: (login through cable provider), NFL Game Pass, FuboTV

NFL Network will also broadcast live on Saturday, starting at 4:00 pm ET, and Sunday, starting at 2:00 pm ET.

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

K Tyler Bass, Georgia Southern: 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.

RB Eno Benjamin, Arizona State: 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.

K Rodrigo Blankenship, Georgia: Blankenship is arguably the best kicker available in this year’s draft and as such could be of interest to New England: he was accurate in college and showcased his leg not just on field goal attempts but also while doing kickoffs. He also brings solid tools to the table, has a proven track record, and should be able to take a starting job from day one.

OG Ben Bredeson, Michigan: An experienced player who certainly has the upside to turn into a starting guard at the next level, Bredeson is a strong player who knows how to drive people in the running game and also mirror his opponents as a pass protector. While neither a particularly quick player nor one playing with an overly clean technique, he still knows how to get the job done.

OC Lloyd Cushenberry III, LSU: 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.

OC Matt Hennessy, Temple: Hennessy projects to be a day one starter in the NFL due to his combination of football intelligence, terrific technique and prototypical size to line up along the interior offensive line. A three-year starter at Temple, the 22-year-old may not be the most powerful or versatile blocker but he is as pro-ready as they come at the center position.

OG Jonah Jackson, Ohio State: 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.

OG Solomon Kindley, Georgia: 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.

OG Shane Lemieux, Oregon: 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.

OC Cesar Ruiz, Michigan: 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.

Pats Pulpit at the Combine

Pats Pulpit’s own Mark Schofield will be in Indianapolis to cover the event from a Patriots perspective. Besides regularly checking this here website, please also make sure to follow @markschofield and @patspulpit on Twitter.

The Pats Pulpit Podcast Network will have breakdowns as well. Subscribe here to stay up to date:

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