The New England Patriots are taking a close look at some of quarterback Mac Jones’ former college teammates this pre-draft cycle. Not only will John Metchie III visit the club for a top-30 meeting, it will reportedly also work out fellow wide receiver Slade Bolden.
According to Jordan Schultz, the workout will take place on Wednesday. Bolden and the Patriots have also already met at the Scouting Combine.
Bolden, 23, spent his entire four-year college career at the University of Alabama — including three seasons alongside Jones. In total, he appeared in 42 games for the Crimson Tide and caught 68 combined passes for 712 yards and four touchdowns.
His 2021 redshirt junior season was Bolden’s best. Starting 11 out of 15 games, he registered 42 receptions for 408 yards and three scores.
Playing primarily in the slot, Bolden offers a relatively ordinary combination of size and speed: the 5-foot-11, 193-pound wide receiver ran a 4.64-second 40-yard dash and 7.01-second three-cone drill at Alabama’s pro day. Nonetheless, he has shown some reliable hands and a feel for finding open space in the short-to-intermediate areas of the field.
Bolden would not necessarily address the Patriots’ needs at the wide receiver position; led by Kendrick Bourne and Jakobi Meyers the team has multiple capable inside receivers. That said, his upside in the kicking game might make him a worthwhile investment as either a late-round draft selection or, more likely, a priority free agent.
New England appears to be one of Bolden’s preferred landing spots as well, judged by his statements at the Combine about modeling his game after long-time Patriots pass catcher Julian Edelman.
“Just the way he played the game, how he worked, his mindset going in: ‘You can’t guard me, you can’t stop me, I’m going to catch everything,’” Bolden said at the time.