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Patriots 2023 pre-draft tracker: Interviews, workouts, meetings, rumors, analysis, and more

NFL Draft season is underway.

NFL: NOV 14 Browns at Patriots Photo by Fred Kfoury III/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

NFL Draft season is in full swing, meaning that the New England Patriots will be quite busy over the coming weeks.

They will be conducting interviews, working out prospects, inviting them for a finite number of pre-draft visits, and in general try to get as complete a picture as possible. It remains to be seen what this process eventually leads to, but there will be plenty of news to report up until late April.

In order to find out who the Patriots have already spoken to or worked out thus far, please make sure to bookmark this pre-draft tracker. We will have all contact listed to the best of our knowledge.

East-West Shrine Bowl

The Patriots’ staff was responsible for coaching the West team at the Shrine Bowl, meaning it got an intimate look at dozens of prospects both on and off the field. In total, 66 players worked with New England’s coaches (and there were an additional 68 on the East team that were coached by the Atlanta Falcons).

You can find a full list of Shrine Bowl players here. To make this tracker as easy to navigate as possible, we only included extra meetings below: if a participant either interviewed or worked out with the Patriots outside of the early-February event, you will find him listed here as well.

Senior Bowl

This year’s Senior Bowl falls into a similar category as the East-West Shrine Bowl, albeit at a lower scale. New England did not have its entire staff present to work with prospects in Mobile, but only one of its members: Patriots defensive line coach DeMarcus Covington worked with the American team as defensive coordinator.

Covington worked closely with 30 players in that capacity; you can find them listed here. As for this tracker, we are again only focusing on additional contact that goes beyond the Senior Bowl.

NFL Scouting Combine

DT Keondre Coburn (Texas): There are not a lot of 350-pound players out there, and Coburn is one of them. Standing at 6-foot-2, he lacks length but he projects as a solid role-specific nose tackle at the next level — one whose primary focus should be on plugging gaps in the running game. | Source

DE Habakkuk Baldonado (Pittsburgh): The Patriots worked with Baldonado at the Senior Bowl and also met with him in Indianapolis. A projected late-round pick or undrafted free agent, he has some enticing tools to work with but is a project at this stage in his development. | Source

DT Dante Stills (West Virginia): At 6-foot-4 and 280 pounds, Stills lacks the bulk to become an every-down interior D-lineman in the NFL. However, his role would be a different one: he projects as a sub rusher to take advantage of his quickness and gap-shooting skills. | Source

DE Tyree Wilson (Texas Tech): Wilson is right up there with the top edge defenders in the class. The surefire first-round pick can play multiple techniques up front, has great size at 6-foot-6, 275 pounds, and has had stretches of dominant play as both a run defender and a pass rusher. | Source

DE Lukas Van Ness (Iowa): An investment in Van Ness will be an investment in his ceiling. The 6-foot-5, 269-pounder has all the tools to become a productive edge defender at the next level, but his lack of experience makes him a developmental prospect. Nonetheless, he is expected to come off the board late in Day 1 or early in Day 2. His ceiling is a very high one, after all. | Source

LB Ivan Pace Jr. (Cincinnati): Pace Jr. might be a bit undersized at 6-foot-0, 235 pounds, but he has all the makings of a successful off-ball linebacker at the next level. He is a powerful run defender and has the athleticism to hold his own in coverage as well. | Source

K Jake Moody (Michigan): Moody was on the Patriots’ Shrine Bowl roster but his Combine media availability made it sound like he also met with the team there. Either way, he is one of the top kickers in the class after making 29 of 35 field goals and all 60 of his extra points in 2022. | Source

CB Christian Gonzalez (Oregon): Possibly the No. 1 cornerback in this year’s draft, Gonzalez looks like what you would get if you asked AI to draw up an ideal prospect at the position. Standing at 6-foot-4, 215 pounds, he has outstanding length and combines it with impressive athleticism and advanced instincts. | Source

CB Joey Porter Jr. (Penn State): The son of former NFL linebacker Joey Porter is one of the top cornerbacks available in this year’s draft. A first-round prospect who combines size (6’2, 195 lbs) with speed, technique and aggressiveness, he is a perfect fit for a press-heavy scheme like New England’s. Porter Jr. projects as a quality starter, who might make a positive impact on a defense as early as Day 1. | Source

CB Emmanuel Forbes (Mississippi State): Forbes is a fringe first-round talent because of his ability to perform in man and zone schemes paired with a physical playing style and knack for making big plays. He might be too aggressive for his own good at times, but can develop into a quality outside cornerback with some time. | Source

CB Eli Ricks (Alabama): A quality starter at LSU, Ricks transferred to Alabama ahead of his 2022 junior season and needed some time to adapt to his new team. While that led to some limited opportunities and might be an issue for NFL teams, he offers an intriguing mix of ball skills, scheme flexibility and size (6’2, 200 lbs). | Source

QB Anthony Richardson (Florida): One of the better quarterbacks in this year’s draft class, Richardson is a prototypical dual-threat quarterback. He has a powerful arm and combines it with some impressive athletic skills. The 6-foot-4, 235-pounder needs to show some improvement as a passer, especially in regards to his accuracy, but is a prospect that checks a lot of boxes for the modern game. | Source

CB Cam Smith (South Carolina): Another potential first-round draft pick, Smith combines a natural feel for the ball with a physical edge. Even though he is a diamond in the rough, the 6-foot-0, 190-pounder has starting outside cornerback written all over him and projects to make an immediate impact in the NFL. | Source

DB Jay Ward (LSU): Standing at 6-foot-2, 188 pounds, Ward has solid length but his frame might force him to change positions at the next level. Instead of working as a perimeter cornerback, he might be better suited at safety where his lack of bulk cannot be exposed as easily. Nonetheless, he has shown that he can be an impact tackler. | Source

WR Jaxon Smith-Njigba (Ohio State): The former Buckeye was limited to just three games last year due to a hamstring injury but was perhaps Ohio State’s best receiver the season before, hauling in 95 receptions for 1,595 yards and nine scores. Smith-Njigba is a tactician of a route runner and could thrive as a slot receiver in New England’s offense. His lack of straight line speed has been a question mark (he won't run the 40-yard dash at the Combine), but he’ll likely be a first-round pick come April. | Source

WR Tyler Scott (Cincinnati): Scott is one of the more explosive receivers in this draft class and his ability to separate is apparent. With the Bearcats, he primarily lined up out wide where his speed threatened defensive backs at all three levels. Scott’s lean frame (5-foot-11, 177 pounds) is a concern which could drop him to the middle rounds of the draft. | Source

WR Puka Nacua (BYU): New England met with Nacua at the Senior Bowl but that did not stop them from talking to him again at the Combine. The 6-foot-2, 205 pound receiver hauled in 48 receptions in nine games for BYU his junior season. Nacua was PFF’s fifth-highest rated receiver in all of college football last season, making him an intriguing late-round option. | Source

OL Anthony Bradford (LSU): At 6-foot-4, 332 pounds, Bradford is a big human being — and an intriguing draft prospect. The potential mid-round pick, after all, offers considerable versatility: he was used at left tackle, left guard and right guard during his time at LSU. | Source

TE Michael Mayer (Notre Dame): In what is shaping up to be one of the best tight end draft classes in recent memory, Mayer is arguably the top option. The 6-foot-4, 244-pounder is an all-around player, capable of making an impact in both the passing and the running games right away. | Source

OT Paris Johnson Jr. (Ohio State): There are some very intriguing offensive tackle options available in this year’s draft, and Johnson is one of them. At 6-foot-6, 313 pounds, he offers ideal size and combines it with explosiveness and an impressive motor. All in all, he might have as high a ceiling as any OT in this year’s class — especially considering that he played only one season at the left tackle spot. | Source

OT Broderick Jones (Georgia): Running the fastest 40-yard dash of all offensive tackles at the Combine, Jones further boosted his stock. His athleticism is off the charts and together with good size — 6-foot-5, 311 pounds — makes him a virtual lock to come off the board in the first round in late April. | Source

OT Anton Harrison (Oklahoma): A fringe first-rounder, Harrison is a bit on the shorter side — 6-foot-4, 315 pounds — but make no mistake: the kid can play. He needs some development to reach his potential, but can become a very good starter down the line. | Source

WR Jordan Addison (USC): Even though he had a disappointing outing at the Combine, Addison is among the best wide prospects available in this year’s draft. A potential chain-mover at the next level, he has proven his abilities to get open despite not being the most explosive player. | Source

WR Quentin Johnston (TCU): Measuring at 6-foot-3, 208 pounds, Johnston combines impressive size with an explosive athletic skillset. Needless to say that he is a big-play threat on the perimeter, and projects as a starer-level X-receiver in the NFL. | Source

RB Zach Evans (Ole Miss): A projected mid-round selection, Evans is an early-down running back option with between-the-tackles potential. At 5-foot-11, 202 pounds, he offers good size and physicality to succeed at the next level. | Source

TE Tucker Kraft (South Dakota State): The Patriots were one of many teams to meet with the former Jackrabbit at the Combine. Kraft showcased his impressive athleticism in Indianapolis with a 9.58 RAS score - highlighted by a 4.69 40-yard dash and 10’2” broad jump. He was a productive receiver who could be a Day Two option for New England. | Source

Pro Days/Other meetings

LB Andrew Farmer (Lane): The first reported meeting of the offseason outside of the scope of the Shrine Bowl and Senior Bowl, the Patriots met with Farmer at the HBCU Bowl. At 6-foot-3, 250 pounds the likely UDFA has solid size as an outside linebacker but there are questions about his ability against next-level competition. | Source

S Trey Dean III (Florida): The Patriots already worked with Dean at the Shrine Bowl, but he said at the Combine that they have had extra contact since as well. At 6-foot-2, 211 pounds, the potential Day 3 pick offers some intriguing size and athleticism. However, it can only partially make up for some other shortcomings such as his slow processor and inconsistent technique. | Source

RB Aidan Borguet (Harvard): The 5-foot-8, 205-pounder is more of a bruiser type and early-down option; he ran the ball 206 times for 1,182 yards and 10 touchdowns in 2022, but caught only five passes (for 51 yards and another TD). | Source

EDGE Myles Murphy (Clemson): New England spent plenty of time with Myles Murphy during Clemson’s Pro Day. Murphy is a 6-foot-5, 275 pound EDGE defender who should come off the board in the first round of this year’s draft. While he did not test at the Combine, Murphy is a freak of an athlete with tremendous power. He will have to improve things technique-wise in the pros. | Source

WR Josh Downs (UNC): New England was one of several teams to meet with Downs prior to UNC’s Pro Day. They have often gravitated to productive college players and that is Downs, who tallied 83 receptions for 1,290 yards and 14 touchdowns in his final season in Chapel Hill. He is shifty and reliable receiver out of slot who could be a strong mix with New England’s current group of receivers. | Source

DT Jaquelin Roy (LSU): Roy is a versatile defensive lineman who played plenty of nose tackle for the Tigers. He may not be flashy, but has strong upper body power that flashes in the run game. And despite limited production, Roy could use his athleticism to develop his pass rush skillset. | Source

RB Kendre Miller (TCU): Miller had a fantastic junior season for the Horn Frogs, finishing one rushing yard shy of 1,400 to go along with 17 touchdowns. He is a physical runner at 6-feet, 220 pounds with strong contact balance. A MCL injury cost him the end of last season, but is apparently ahead of schedule on his rehab despite not participating in his Pro Day. | Source

DT Darel Middleton (Bethel University TN): Middleton had a busy college career that took him from from West Virginia and Tennessee to Bethel University. Following his graduate season with the Wildcats, he was invited to the Hula Bowl. Standing at 6-foot-6, 306 pounds, he is projected as a late-round pick or rookie free agent. Middleton met virtually with several teams, including the Patriots. | Source

QB Malik Cunningham (Louisville): If the Patriots are looking to add a quarterback with different traits than those already on the roster, Cunningham fits the mold. The dual-threat quarterback threw for 9,660 yards with 70 touchdowns and ran for another 3,179 with 50 more scores during his time at Louisville. He has work to do as a passer, but provides an enticing Day 3 option with upside. | Source

WR Ronnie Bell (Michigan): The Patriots and Bell met for a lunch at his Pro Day, and it is not hard to see why they are interested in him. Primarily an interior receiver, he is coming off a productive career at Michigan. He saved his best for last: his 2022 redshirt senior campaign that saw him catch 62 passes for 889 yards — both leading the team — as well as four touchdowns. | Source

K Chad Ryland (Maryland): One of the best place kicker prospects in this year’s class, Ryland might hear his name called in one of the later rounds. He made 19 of 23 field goal attempts (82.6%) in his lone season with the Terps in 2022, and also split the uprights on 39 of 40 extra points (97.5%). He additionally has experience doing kickoffs. | Source

WR Tre Tucker (Cincinnati): A wide receiver and return specialist, Tucker is entering the NFL off his most productive college season. The 5-foot-9, 182-pounder caught 52 passes for 672 yards and three touchdowns. He also averaged 21.3 yards on kickoffs and 15.3 yards on punts, albeit in a limited capacity. Tucker, who met with the Patriots at his Pro Day, projects as a Day 3 pick. | Source

OT Warren McClendon Jr. (Georgia): Georgia’s starting right tackle for the last three seasons, McClendon Jr. is on the smaller side at 6-foot-4, 306 pounds and might therefore be a tackle/guard convert at the next level. His experience against top competition in the SEC makes him a player to watch on Day 3. The 22-year-old had a virtual meeting with New England. | Source

CB Mekhi Garner (LSU): A projected late-round draft pick, Garner projects as an outside cornerback. Not only did he have a Top-30 visit with the Patriots, he also worked out privately for the team. | Source

Top-30 visits

CB Emmanuel Forbes (Mississippi State): Interview No. 2 for Forbes with New England, as the two sides also talked during the NFL Combine. Sticking with players who have produced at the collegiate level, Forbes recorded 20 pass breakups and 14 interceptions — returning six for touchdowns — in 35 career games. He’s an extremely aggressive corner who tested well athletically, but measured in at 6-foot-1 and just 166 pounds. | Source

WR Jonathan Mingo (Ole Miss): A potential mid-round pick, Mingo projects as an interior receiver at the next level. He caught 51 passes for 861 yards and five touchdowns during his 2022 senior season with the Revels, with his run-after-the-catch abilities an intriguing part of his game. | Source

WR Jordan Addison (USC): After already meeting with the Patriots at the Scouting Combine, Addison will also meet with them as part of a top-30 visit. He had a disappointing Combine performance but his fluid route-running makes up for any athletic shortcomings and should allow him to turn into a productive chain-mover at the next level. | Source

OL Cody Mauch (North Dakota State): There is some speculation whether he might be moved to guard at the next level, but the 6-foot-5, 302-pounder has considerable experience at tackle: he started 37 games at the left side at North Dakota State, and two on the right. Regardless of where he ends up, Mauch offers a mean streak and some solid functional athleticism. | Source

WR T.J. Luther (Gardner-Webb): Projected as a rookie free agent, Luther spent the last two seasons at Gardner-Webb as a productive wide receiver and kickoff returner. He could add some bulk to his 6-foot-1 frame, but might have some developmental potential. | Source

DT Scott Matlock (Boise State): Considered a late-round/UDFA prospect, Matlock stands at 6-foot-4, 300 pounds and played 13 games for Boise State during his 2022 redshirt senior season. He registered had 2.5 sacks, and also caught a 1-yard touchdown — the second touchdown catch of his career. He also worked with the Patriots’ coaches as the East-West Shrine Bowl. | Source

WR Zay Flowers (Boston College): Despite his 5-foot-9 frame, Flowers is a three-level threat and one of the best wide receivers available in this year’s class. A potential first-round selection, he primarily projects as an interior receiver but may not be restricted to just a slot role in the NFL due to his release package and speed. | Source

LB Viliami Fehoko (San Jose State): Another Shrine Bowl alum, although as part of the non-Patriots-coached squad, Fehoko offers an intriguing mix of size (6’4, 273 lbs), pass-rushing prowess and versatility. He is not the most explosive athlete, but should still hear his name called in one of the later rounds of the draft. | Source

S Jammie Robinson (Florida State): Robinson had a mostly mediocre Scouting Combine, but he offers a lot of the attributes the Patriots like from their safeties. He is a stout tackler, offers some good short-area quickness, and has experience playing all over the Seminoles’ secondary. The 5-foot-11, 191-pound defender is projected as a Day 2 selection. | Source

OT Broderick Jones (Georgia): After meeting with the Patriots at the NFL Combine, Jones will again meet with the team on a top-30 visit. Despite only starting 19 games at the collegiate level, Jones’ athletic upside will make him one of the first tackles off the board. | Source

LB Nolan Smith (Georgia): A projected first-round selection, Smith is one of the best edge defenders in this year’s draft. He is a well-rounded player and enticing athlete, who should be capable of making a positive impact both in the passing and the running game, at the next level. | Source

WR Michael Wilson (Stanford): While his production at Stanford was nothing to write home about — he had just 27 catches for 421 and four touchdowns in 2022 — Wilson looked very good at the Senior Bowl. If teams see his performance in Mobile as indicative of his ceiling, the 6-foot-2, 213-pound perimeter receiver might come off the board as early as Day 2. | Source

DE Tyree Wilson (Texas Tech): After meeting with Wilson at the NFL Combine, New England will now hold the edge rusher on a top-30 visit. Arguably the top edge player in this year’s class, Wilson has all the traits to play 3-4 defensive end and outside linebacker in Bill Belichick’s defense. He projects as a top-10 pick, however, meaning New England would likely have to move up to select him. | Source

TE Dalton Kincaid (Utah): Despite not starting to play football until his senior year of high school, Kincaid is arguably the best pure receiver in the draft. While a tad undersized at the position, he has strong ball skills and yards after the catch ability. Last season at Utah, he led all FBS tight ends in receiving yards (74.2) and receptions (5.8) per game. Now healthy from a back injury, he’s a projected first-round selection. | Source

DE Lukas Van Ness (Iowa): Despite being far from a finished product, Van Ness is one of the top edge defenders in this year’s draft. Standing at 6-foot-5, and 272 pounds, he combines ideal size with some intriguing tools to work with: his motor runs consistently hot, he has shown an ability to line up all over the formation, and he can be an impact player against both the run and the pass. It is no surprise he is projected as a first-round selection. | Source

OT Tyler Steen (Alabama): A three-year starter at Vanderbilt, Steen transferred to Alabama prior to the 2022 season where he held down the left tackle spot for Bill O’Brien’s offense. Steen is a fluid athlete at 6-foot-6, 321 pounds that has experience at both tackle spots, but teams may view him as more of a guard due to his sub-33 inch arms. | Source

RB Aidan Borguet (Harvard): After already showing interest in Borguet earlier in the pre-draft process, the Patriots are now taking a closer look at him via a Top-30 visit. An early-down option who projects as a rookie free agent, he ran the ball 206 times for 1,182 yards and 10 touchdowns in 2022. | Source

WR Ronnie Bell (Michigan): Seen as a mid-round selection, Bell projects as a complementary Z-receiver at the next level. The 6-foot-0, 191-pound wideout led the Wolverines in receiving in three out of the last four seasons — the exception being 2021, when he played juste one game due to a torn ACL — and also served as a captain. Bell already met with the Patriots at his Pro Day. | Source

S Marte Mapu (Sacramento State): Standing at 6-foot-3, 221 pounds, Mapu projects as a safety/linebacker hybrid in the mold of current Patriots defenders Kyle Dugger, Adrian Phillips and Jabrill Peppers. The potential mid-round pick will be a matchup weapon at the next level and also has all the makings of a core special teamer. | Source

EDGE Myles Murphy (Clemson): A fringe first-rounder, Murphy was a three-year starter at Clemson. Standing and 6-foot-5 and 268 pounds he is well-sized and combines it with impressive versatility, solid college production, and natural explosiveness. He might become a Day 1 starter on the defensive edge, either as a lineman or outside linebacker. New England already spent time with him at his Pro Day. | Source

CB Isaiah Bolden (Jackson State): Splitting his college career between Florida State and Jackson State, Bolden started only 13 games in five seasons. However, he still is an intriguing prospect: not only did the the 6-foot-2, 201-pounder register a 9.43 Relative Athletic Score based on his Pro Day, he also is a prolific kick returner. | Source

QB Will Levis (Kentucky): One of the top quarterbacks in this year’s draft, Levis is projected to get drafted in the first round. A two-time team captain at Kentucky, he completed 65.4 percent of his pass attempts in 2022 for 2,406 yards with 19 touchdowns and 10 interceptions. | Source

CB Mekhi Garner (LSU): After starting his college career at Navarro State and Louisiana, Garner spent his 2022 at LSU. An outside cornerback who offers good size at 6-foot-2, 212 pounds, he started 13 games for the Tigers and finished the year with 43 tackles and eight pass breakups. | Source