Patriot fans have become accustomed to the ever present undrafted free agent (UDFA) on the roster. Every opening day roster since 2004 has seen one or more UDFA’s, a total of 34 players over that span. This year there are 16 Patriot hopefuls looking to extend the streak and make the final 53. Let’s take a look at each player and how they can make the roster.
Take a look at our previous profiles here:
- Rashod Berry, TE/DE, Ohio State
- De’Jon “Scoota” Harris, LB, Arkansas
- Brian Lewerke, QB, Michigan State
- Bill Murray, DT, William and Mary
A big part of the new CBA is the expansion of game day rosters. Without explaining the entire plan I will say that each team is now given the opportunity to elevate two practice squad players to their game day roster. Said players can play as long as at least eight offensive lineman are active. The active game day roster size increases from 46 to 48 when eight lineman are active. I say all of that to tell you this... though his chances of making the roster are slim, I believe Nick Coe is the perfect player for this plan.
Though it is impossible to define, the defensive line feels pretty set. The Patriots official roster has the following players listed as defensive lineman.
Without ruining the defensive line roster tier that is coming later this week, I will say it looks like Nick Coe is a practice squad guy.
Coe was one of the early UDFA signings for New England, who wasted no time picking up the Auburn product. It is likely that Coe chose to hit free agency, giving himself an opportunity to pick the best situation for himself. This is something a lot of players do if they slip during the draft, instead of leaving it to chance in the sixth or seventh rounds, they can tell teams they prefer to hit free agency, an example is quarterback Tyree Jackson, who specifically told teams not to select him late in the 2019 draft. Even if he didn’t tell teams not to draft him, Coe was an unexpected free agent once the draft concluded.
Enough of the speculation, let’s get into Nick Coe the football player.
Coe enrolled at Auburn as an All-State football player and wrestler in the state of North Carolina, in his three seasons playing at Auburn, he amassed 21.0 tackles for loss and 9.0 sacks. He also played three different positions in college lining up at defensive end, defensive tackle, and outside linebacker. His biggest strength coming into the draft was his positional flexibility. At the combine he worked out at both DE and OLB.
As a Freshman, Coe played primarily at defensive tackle. He posted 2.0 sacks and 4.5 tackles for loss, he led Auburn to victory in the 2017 Iron Bowl with five tackles and a game sealing sack, winning the SEC defensive lineman of the week.
In his sophomore season, Coe made the transition to outside linebacker which immediately paid off as he had a career year. He finished 2018 with 27 tackles, 13.5 TFL, and 7.0 sacks. 3.5 sacks came in one game against Ole Miss.
Finally in his Junior year Coe bounced around a bit between DE and OLB. This led to a pretty steep drop in production as he only had 3 TFL and 0 sacks. This came after Coe made just about every preseason watch list there was. The way he ended his season rubbed a lot of Auburn fans the wrong way, after having a down regular season, Coe chose not to make the trip to the Outback Bowl.
Ultimately throughout his college career Coe was good but struggled with consistency, a lot of that came from the never ending positional changes he had to endure. There is no doubt that once he gets to New England he will be able to focus on his job, and if he can produce during camp like he did in his sophomore year, Coe may steal himself a job, if not I think he can definitely carve out a role on the practice squad and may even see some playing time during the season.