With the 2021 NFL Draft in the rear-view mirror, the New England Patriots will now be able to address the changes their scouting department has experienced over the course of the offseason and fill some holes. According to a report by Neil Stratton, the club has made three moves — including naming new directors for both the college and pro scouting departments.
Matt Groh: Promoted to Director of College Scouting
The most experienced among the Patriots’ college scouts, Groh will be leading the department entering his 11th season in the organization. He first arrived in New England back in 2011 as a scouting assistant, was promoted to area scout two years later, and eventually moved up to national scout in 2019.
Him taking another step up the ladder does not come as a surprise after he was already actively involved in New England’s pre-draft process over the last few months. Now, he will get a chance to fill a role of that was last held by Monti Ossenfort before his departure to the Tennessee Titans last spring.
“Matt’s done a great job for us,” Belichick said about Groh back in 2019. “He’s kind of worked his way up. Left his law career behind and converted to football, and he’s done an excellent job of scouting for us and helping build the depth of our football team.”
A former college quarterback at Princeton, Groh comes from football family.
His father, Al, coached at all three levels of football, including a stint as the Patriots’ defensive coordinator under Bill Parcells; he also became Bill Belichick’s successor after he had left the New York Jets just one day into his tenure as their head coach. His brother, Mike, has had numerous NFL coaching stops as well and is currently serving as wide receivers coach for the Indianapolis Colts.
Steve Cargile: Promoted to Director of Pro Scouting
Coming off his 10th season in the Patriots’ personnel department and ninth as a pro scout, Cargile was a natural candidate to take over as New England’s pro scouting director — a role last held by Dave Ziegler, the natural candidate to take over as director of player personnel from the departed Nick Caserio.
Before joining the organization as a scouting and special teams coaching assistant in 2011, Cargile spent six seasons in the league as a player. He was originally signed by the Dallas Cowboys as a rookie free agent after the 2004 draft and later also spent time with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Denver Broncos, Cleveland Browns and New York Giants.
Even when his playing days ended, Cargile tried to remain in the NFL. He eventually received a chance with the Patriots’ scouting department.
“I started sending my resume and cover letter to every team in the league, anybody that I knew,” Cargile told ABC News 5 in Cleveland in 2017. “I got a lot of ‘no’s.’ I got a lot of people that did not respond, but New England was the one team that responded and brought me up for an interview.”
Since then, Cargile has won three Super Bowls and in 2016 was voted AFC Scout of the Year by the Fritz Pollard Alliance.
Camren Williams: Promoted to National Scout
With Matt Groh climbing up the organizational ladder, New England will turn to Camren Williams to fill his spot as a national scout. The son of former Patriots defender Brent Williams, he first joined the team in 2016 as a scouting assistant.
“Being exposed to a program like the New England Patriots and an organization like that is second to none. Whether you’re trying to work in any field, it’s incredible to be a part of and learn from Coach [Bill] Belichick and the things that he does,” Williams told Eleven Warriors in 2018.
“I didn’t have a job before here. So I had to learn to evaluate a quarterback. I had to learn how to evaluate a punter and a kicker and a long snapper. So from a development standpoint, I learned a ton ... that has grown me as a scout. But then also from a cultural standpoint, being in New England has been a huge teaching tool for me.”
Ahead of the 2018 season, Williams was promoted from scouting assistant to area scout with the southeast territory as his responsibility — a role he has held ever since. Now, the Ohio State graduate will join Brandon Yeargan as one of two national scouts under Matt Groh.
With Williams promoted and West Coast area scout Jonathan Howard moving on to pursue other opportunities, the Patriots will have to fill two positions at the area scouting level. In 2020, they had Alex Brooks and Jordon Hein working as scouting assistants. Both could be candidates to fill those two vacancies.