Pre-draft thoughts on Patriots, Zach Mettenberger, search for WR help
|04.09.14 at 12:09 am ET|
Three Tuesday night pre-draft thoughts on the Patriots, quarterback and receiver workouts and possible Boise State prospects:
1. In the wake of the Patriots’ decision to meet with Teddy Bridgewater and Johnny Manziel, the news that they are also set to break bread with LSU quarterback Zach Mettenberger (first reported by NFL Media’s Albert Breer on Tuesday) probably isn’t all that surprising. Mettenberger isn’t considered to be a top prospect, but he could be the annual quarterback pickup the Patriots seem to make every year. The 6-foot-5, 224-pounder threw for 3,082 yards with 22 touchdowns and eight interceptions last year before suffering a torn ACL in the season finale against Arkansas. A big, strong-armed pocket passer who reminds some of current backup Ryan Mallett, Mettenberger is expected to be a mid-round possibility and is a far more realistic pickup for New England than either Bridgewater or Manziel.
In other quarterback-related news, Tony Pauline reported the Patriots will work out Logan Thomas on Wednesday. The Virginia Tech product stands 6-foot-6 and 248 pounds, and threw for 9,003 yards and 53 touchdowns over the course of his college career. Last season he was 227-for-402 for 2,907 yards with 16 touchdowns and 13 picks. Considered an elite athlete who was considered one of the best prep tight ends in America before the went under center as a collegian, he could conceivably find a spot at the next level as a receiver or tight end. Regardless, his athleticism should be enough for a team to take a shot at him on the third day of the draft.
2. The Patriots are scheduled to put three Boise State players through their paces on Wednesday, according to Aaron Wilson of the Baltimore Sun. Wide receiver Geraldo Boldewijn and offensive linemen Matt Paradis and Charles Leno are all set to take part in a workout with New England coaches and a few Boise State players, per a league source.
Boldewijn is a 6-foot-4, 215-pounder who caught 76 passes for 991 yards and six touchdowns over the course of his career at BSU, which includes 39 catches last season. Boldewijn grew up in Amsterdam, and as a result came to the game of football relatively late in life. As a result, he’s still considered slightly raw, but an improving prospect who is a possible late-round pickup.
Paradis is a 6-foot-3, 305-pounder who has started the bulk of his college games at center for BSU. A walk-on defensive lineman, he grew into a key part of the Boise State offense — he started each of the Broncos‘ 13 games at center in 2012 and was part of an offensive line unit that ranked sixth nationally in sacks allowed, at 0.77 per game. He is also a two-time All-Mountain West center, named to the first team in 2012, and second team in 2013.
Here’s a highlight package of his work at BSU.
Leno, who stands 6-foot-4 and checks in at 303 pounds, is another All-Mountain West first-teamer who started every game the last three years for BSU, most of which came at tackle. While he did make his bones on the outside at tackle over the course of his college career, some believe he might have the versatility and body type to make a move inside to guard or center at the next level.
3. Wide receiver is not considered to be an overwhelming position of need for several reasons for the Patriots heading into next month’s draft — with three players who just finished their rookie year, it’s already one of the youngest positions on the team. In addition, there’s the fact that they have re-signed Julian Edelman and inked Brandon LaFell. But keeping in mind there could be several reasons for a pre-draft visit, it is interesting to hear more and more talk about the Patriots holding pre-draft meetings/workouts with receivers. It was noted by Anwar Richardson of Yahoo! Sports on Tuesday that Oregon State’s Brandin Cooks — who has worked out for the Patriots and Panthers — will visit the Jets later this month. The 5-foot-10, 189-pounder out of Oregon State is considered one of the better receivers in this year’s draft ‘ the Biletnikoff award winner set the Oregon State and Pac-12 records for catches with 128, receiving yards with 1,730 and touchdown catches with 24 as a junior in 2013.
In addition, according to Pauline, the Patriots are set to work out another wide receiver on Wednesday, D.J. Coles from Virginia Tech. Coles is a 6-foot-4, 238-pounder who was sidelined for almost the entire 2012 season because of a knee injury but had 25 catches for 387 yards and a team-best six touchdowns last season. He’s projected to be a Day 3 pick.