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What did Bill Belichick say about Tom Brady shortly after drafting him 15 years ago today?

04.16.15 at 11:21 am ET
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Thursday marked the 15th anniversary of the professional relationship between Bill Belichick and Tom Brady. (Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

Thursday marked the 15th anniversary of the professional relationship between Bill Belichick and Tom Brady. (Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

Thursday marks a unique day in Patriots history. On April 16, 2000, the Patriots drafted quarterback Tom Brady with a sixth-round selection — 199th overall. In the wake of the selection, New England coach Bill Belichick met the media to talk about the 2000 draft class, and offered this up in the way of his new quarterback:

“The value board at that point really just clearly put him as the top value. [Tom] Brady is a guy who has obviously played at a high level of competition in front of a lot of people. He’s been in a lot of pressure situations. We felt that this year, his decision-making was improved from his junior year after he took over for [Brian] Griese and cut his interceptions down. [He’s] a good, tough, competitive, smart quarterback that is a good value, and how he does and what he’ll be able to do. … we’ll just put him out there with everybody else and let him compete and see what happens.”

Read More: Bill Belichick, Tom Brady,

NFL Draft’s Potential Patriots: Oregon OT Jake Fisher

04.16.15 at 9:14 am ET
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WEEI.com will continue to offer daily insight and analysis regarding options that may be available to the Patriots when it comes to the 2015 NFL draft. Here is one in a series of profiles of players who could be on the board when it’s time for the Patriots to make a selection.

Jake Fisher (Otto Greule Jr./Getty Images)

Jake Fisher proved to be key protecting Heisman Trophy winner Marcus Mariota and helping Oregon reach the BCS championship game. (Otto Greule Jr./Getty Images)

JAKE FISHER

Position: Offensive tackle

School: Oregon

Height: 6-foot-6

Weight: 306 pounds

Achievements: 2014 All-Pac-12 first team, 2014 Outland Trophy semifinalist for best interior lineman in the country, 2013 and 2012 Pancake Club award winner for most pancake blocks

What he brings: Fisher is a “selfless, passionate and versatile player,” according to CBS Sports, and has favorable size, athleticism and strength. He moves well, has good initial quickness, can adjust with smooth change of direction per Lance Zierlein of NFL.com. Fisher stays with blocks, transitioning seamlessly into his second assignment from the initial stop. Fisher has racked up many penalties during the past two seasons, though, namely being tabbed with six holding calls in 2014. He could also stand to add some more weight to his frame, wrote Zierlein.

Where the Patriots could get him: Rounds 1-2

Notes: In high school, Fisher played tight end and defensive lineman before shifting to right guard his freshman year of college. After he spent 2012 and 2013 as a starting right tackle, he moved over to left tackle for the 2014 season after an injury to Tyler Johnstone proved to be season-ending. Fisher missed time with a leg injury, and ESPN’s Ivan Maisel noted that in the Ducks’ first three games with Fisher they went 3-0 and averaged 52 points, and quarterback Marcus Mariota was sacked four times. When Fisher was out of the lineup, Oregon was 1-1, averaging 31 points and allowing Mariota to be sacked 12 times. As soon as Fisher came back, the Ducks recorded a 42-30 win over UCLA in which Mariota was never sacked and had four touchdowns. At the scouting combine Fisher had impressive results, recording top performances at his position for the 40-yard dash (5.01 seconds), vertical jump (32.5 inches), three-cone drill (7.25 seconds) and 20-yard shuttle (4.33).

Related articles:

Oregon Daily Emerald: Jake Fisher proves his worth, has offensive line “clicking”

LA Times: Jake Fisher holds the line for Oregon

Video: Here’s a package of Fisher’s highlights.

Read More: 2015 NFL Draft, 2015 Potential Patriots, Jake Fisher,

Resetting Patriots depth chart: Quarterback

04.16.15 at 7:30 am ET
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Tom Brady and Jimmy Garoppolo figure to stay at the head of the depth chart this offseason, but don't be shocked if the Patriots add another signal-caller to the mix this offseason. (Jim Rogash/Getty Images)

Tom Brady and Jimmy Garoppolo will stay at the head of the depth chart, but don’t be shocked if the Patriots add another signal-caller to the mix this offseason. (Jim Rogash/Getty Images)

With the majority of free agency completed and the draft looming, we’re going to take a look at the Patriots depth chart by position, and try and assess the level of need going forward. We started with special teams, tight end, wide receiver and running back. Now, it’s quarterback:

Current depth chart: Tom Brady (373-for-582, 64 percent, 4,109 passing yards, 33 touchdowns, 9 interceptions), Jimmy Garoppolo (19-for-27 for 70 percent, 182 yards, 1 touchdown, INT), Garrett Gilbert.

Lost in free agency: None.

Gained in free agency: None.

Other changes: None. This is maybe the easiest position to diagnose when it comes to changes from year-to-year, at least at the starters’ position. Other than the fact that the Patriots almost always draft a quarterback (only four other teams have drafted more quarterbacks since New England since 2000) in the late rounds or pick up a rookie free agent after the draft every year, there’s no reason to think there will be much change at all at the position this offseason.

Is this an area of need going into the draft? No, but as we previously stated, the Patriots subscribe to the idea that you need to go out and get a quarterback every year in the draft. Rohan Davey, Kliff Kingsbury, Matt Cassel, Kevin O’Connell, Zac Robinson, Ryan Mallett and Garoppolo have all been drafted by New England since Brady took over in 2001. That doesn’t even begin to take into account the undrafted and rookie free agents that have been acquired over the years like Brian Hoyer and Matt Gutierrez or veteran pickups like Damon Huard, Andrew Walter and Tim Tebow. Bottom line? New England gets a quarterback every spring, and this year should be no exception.

Read More: Garrett Gilbert, Jimmy Garoppolo, resetting the depth chart, Tom Brady

NFL Draft’s Potential Patriots: Samford SS Jaquiski Tartt

04.15.15 at 5:28 pm ET
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WEEI.com will continue to offer daily insight and analysis regarding options that may be available to the Patriots when it comes to the 2015 NFL draft. Here is one is a series of profiles of players who could be on the board when it’s time for the Patriots to make a selection.

Jaquiski Tartt (Samford University)

If he goes earlier than pick 162, Jaquiski Tartt would be the highest NFL draft pick ever to come out of Samford. (Samford University)

JAQUISKI TARTT

Position: Strong safety

School: Samford

Height: 6-foot-1

Weight: 218 pounds

Achievements: 2014 FCS All-America first team (AFCA, TSN), 2014 All-SoCon first team, 2013 FCS All-America second team (TSN), 2013 All-SoCon first team, 2012 FCS All-America first team (TSN), 2012 All-SoCon first team, 2012 finalist for Buck Buchanan Award as top defensive player in FCS

What he brings: Tartt is praised by experts for being a tough competitor who doesn’t shy away from hard contact. He is considered to be an asset in run defense and a good tackler. However, there are concerns that he lacks top-end speed and ability to play man defense. NFL analyst Charles Davis said that while Tartt plays in the FCS, he possesses “SEC skills.”

Where the Patriots could get him: Rounds 3-5

Notes: In his time at Samford, Tartt tallied 277 tackles, including 6.5 for a loss, and six interceptions. He missed one game in 2013 and was limited in 2010 as a result of a deep shoulder bruise but started every other game in college career. He was the first player from Samford selected to play in the Senior Bowl. At the combine he ran a 4.53 40-yard dash and covered 10 feet, 4 inches in the broad jump. His name is pronounced Juh-QUA-ski.

Related articles:

Alabama.com: Tartt honoring late grandfather through football

Alabama.com: Tartt first Samford player invited to Senior Bowl

Video: Here are some highlights from Tartt’s time at Samford.

Read More: 2015 NFL Draft, 2015 Potential Patriots, Jaquiski Tartt,

Tom Brady, Rex Ryan have some fun at QBs expense after opening day pitch in dirt

04.15.15 at 2:05 pm ET
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Tom Brady one-hopped David Ortiz when throwing out the first pitch at Fenway on Monday. On Wednesday, he had some fun at his own expense with the following Facebook post.

Going to stick to catcher and leave the throwing to the football field…

Posted by Tom Brady on Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Of course, because it was Rex Ryan, the Bills coach felt the need to remind folks Wednesday that his first pitch at the Buffalo Bisons opener made it to the plate without an issue while Brady’s was a one-hopper, adding that, “Tom likes taking advice from me, I know.”

Read More: because it's the offseason, Rex Ryan, Tom Brady,

NFL Draft’s Potential Patriots: Oklahoma OT Daryl Williams

04.15.15 at 1:27 pm ET
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WEEI.com will continue to offer daily insight and analysis regarding options that may be available to the Patriots when it comes to the 2015 NFL draft. Here is one in a series of profiles of players who could be on the board when it’s time for the Patriots to make a selection.

Daryl Williams (University of Oklahoma)

Daryl Williams is expected to move to guard in the NFL, with concerns about his footwork and body control. (University of Oklahoma)

DARYL WILLIAMS

Position: Offensive tackle

School: Oklahoma

Height: 6-foot-5

Weight: 327 pounds

Achievements: 2014 All-Big 12 first team, 2013 All-Big 12 second team

What he brings: Williams is physical and competitive, leading by example on the field and showcasing his “outstanding football character and overall work ethic,” writes Lance Zierlein of NFL.com. He has “heavy hands” and will make sure his legs keep moving through contact, according to CBS Sports. His thick body and initial quickness are regarded as impressive by Frank Cooney of CBS Sports, but he also notes that Williams’ footwork isn’t as elite as NFL-caliber players’ is. Scouts could see him being shifted to guard at the professional level. However, Williams has some issues with body control and plods and shuffles along, having difficulty changing directions smoothly, Zierlein wrote.

Where the Patriots could get him: Round 3

Notes: Williams was selected as a team captain before the 2014 season. His offensive line coach, Bill Bedenbaugh, said that Williams isn’t super loud but mentioned that he’s not particularly quiet, either, in the vein of, “When he says something, it matters.” Williams ran a 5.34 40-yard dash and recorded 27 reps on the bench press at the combine.

Related articles:

Soonersports.com: Williams doesn’t disappoint as a leader 

Fox Sports: Q&A with Oklahoma Sooners lineman Daryl Williams

Denton Record Chronicle: Football: Williams grows into leader at OU

Video: Here’s a closer look at Williams.

Read More: 2015 NFL Draft, 2015 Potential Patriots, Daryl Williams,

Ex-Patriot Brandon Spikes ‘confused about the justice system’ after Aaron Hernandez verdict

04.15.15 at 11:23 am ET
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Former Patriots linebacker Brandon Spikes apparently does not agree with the verdict in the Aaron Hernandez trial.

Spikes played with Hernandez at the University of Florida, and both were drafted by the Patriots in 2010 — Spikes in the second round and Hernandez in the fourth. Spikes now is preparing for his second season with the Bills after the Patriots elected not to re-sign him following the 2013 season.

Minutes after Hernandez was found guilty of first-degree murder in the 2013 killing of Odin Lloyd, Spikes tweeted: IM CONFUSED ABOUT THE JUSTICE SYSTEM THESE DAYS !!!

Read More: Aaron Hernandez, Brandon Spikes,

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