FOXBOROUGH, Mass. — Quick thoughts and notes about theNFL:
1. Scores relative to athletic ability: The Patriots' 2022 draft class spoke volumes about how Bill Belichick & Co. view the team's deficiencies — specifically with a focus on speed in a game that continues to be played more in space.
Matt Groh, the Patriots' director of player personnel, pointed out that toughness has always been a top priority.
The Patriots will find out in the future if they have found the right players to add these traits to their roster. HowThey came to the conclusion guard(First round, 29th), receiver (second round 50th), and cornerback It was noted that the ideal targets were in the third round (85th).
The Patriots' class of '22, which has been criticized for the way it viewed players, might be the benchmark for stock companies to use when valuing player assets.
The concept of relative athletic score, which measures a player's physical measurements on a scale from 0 to 10, is increasingly popular in football reporting. The picks Strange and Thornton are a good example.
Strange is a particular exception.
— Kent Lee Platte (@MathBomb) April 29, 2022
His measurements and testing results are compared with those of other guards since 1987. He is ranked seventh out 1,298 prospects.
“He's almost 6 years old.”[foot]-5, 300 lbs and runs sub-5 second in the 40 [-yard dash]. Benched 225 [pounds] 31 times. Groh stated Friday night that there are not many people doing this.
Thornton's 4.28-second time in the 40 yard dash is currently the fourth fastest by a NFL combine receiver since 2006.
Thornton's relative athletic ability is also impressive, placing 405th of 2,785 receiving receivers from 1987 through 2022. The speed is exceptional.
On Saturday, the Patriots chose South Dakota State running back in the fourth round. high relative athletic scoreWith elite speed.His 4.37 second time in the 40-yard sprint at the combine was tied with the fastest running backs. Strong had also a
— Kent Lee Platte (@MathBomb) April 30, 2022
Scouting has been about projecting traits for a long time. Relative athletic scores don't play football on Sundays, and Strange, Thornton & Co., wouldn't be Patriots if they hadn't already transferred some of their unique athletic gifts to the field as Football players.
Their elite testing results and the way the Patriots project them to the NFL relative the 31 other teams when assessing value was a storyline worth noting.
2. McDuffie, why not?It is said that drafts are best assessed after at most three years have passed. With the Patriots' 2022 class of players, a cornerback will be a player to keep an eye on.. The Patriots would have likely gotten a lot of “attaboys,” if they had traded down to 29 to get McDuffie, instead of staying at 21st overall.
Hence, why didn't they do it?
One NFL scout pointed out McDuffie's shorter arm length (29 3/4), as one reason the Patriots did not race to submit their card. It was especially noteworthy considering they prefer to have press-man coverage from the outside, which some see as crucial. They weighed that against the value they received in trades (getting a solid haul third- and fourth-round draft picks), and decided to accept the trade.
3. Thornton's speed:The Patriots may have been thinking of Thornton, the fastest wide receiver, when they selected Thornton in the 2022 draft. New England receivers were 25th in the NFL for separation on deep balls last season. ESPN Next Gen Stats data shows that they only had 1.6 yards separation on throws of 20 or more yards downfield.
Groh also stated that Thornton is more than a burner who runs down the field. “This isn’t just a linear person. He said that he can see him being able to move off the line. “And for as fast he is, to see him get into the red zone to do some things, it’s not just speed. It's 6-2, ability get up and really take the ball out of his air.”
Greg Cosell, ESPN's NFL Matchup Show's longtime NFL tape analyst, highlighted Thornton before the draft as a receiver that merited more attention.
Here's @gregcosellNew #PatriotsWR Tyquan Therton. “He may be alongside Jameson Williams, the most vertically explosive players in the class. Speed was consistent on tape..refinement of his game when beating the press..reminds us a lot about Chris Olave, but tougher.” #ForeverNE
— Nik Athans (@NewEnglandNik) April 30, 2022
4. Early returnsWhile it's natural for the Patriots to hope Thornton or Jones become top-line options at cornerback and receiver, the more immediate chance they have of helping the team in return is not to be missed. Thornton's lightning speed could be a factor in a kickoff returning role (he returned only eight kickoffs while at college), and Jones is the top candidate to fill the gap left by top punt returnser.‘s departure. Jones was the Football Bowl Subdivision's most prolific punt returner with 711 yards and 12 returns of 12-plus yards over the two seasons. The Patriots were ranked No. 18 in the NFL in kickoff returns average (21.8 yards) while the Patriots were No. 6. 6 in punt average return (11.3 yards).
5. Picks for 2023The Patriots traded their third-rounder (94) to Carolina for a fourth-rounder (137). This trade was a Friday night deal that showed Belichick, who has a rock-solid job and is always thinking ahead. The Patriots have now traded the 2023 third rounder for a veteran receiver.. Accounting for compensatory draft picks and previous picks from the Rams ) and Panthers ( ), the Patriots have 2023 picks in the following rounds: 1, 2, 3, 3, 4, 4, 6, 6, 7.
6. McGrone is important!: The Patriots avoided this draft in a class that was widely regarded as deep within the linebacker class. Groh highlighted a second-year linebacker, although it is dangerous to assume that there is a direct correlation between how the Patriots view them.(2021 Fifth Round): “Kind of an Additional Draft Pick” since he did not play his first 2021 season due to a torn ACL sustained at Michigan. Trade acquisition The resigning of Groh stated that there is a certain level of excitement among the linebackers. Safety is also important Projects that play more in the boxes in certain packages, as well as other safety features It is possible.
7. Macs are rising:Strange reported that he was sent a welcome message by the quarterbackStrange was invited to dinner by Davio’s Northern Italian Steakhouse by his mother on Friday. Strange, a Tennessee native who was visiting New England for the first time, said that the gesture made it feel like he was back home.
Jones' invitation is a reflection of what his teammates have been relaying. Jones shows increasing confidence in his ability to step into leadership roles while still letting his personality shine through.
“He's just as funny and a great guy,” centerSeason-ticket members were informed at Thursday's team's annual Draft Party. “He also loves this game. He enjoys the grind of this sport. The preparation. He is a very smart man. As an undrafted player, you don't feel a lot of pressure. It's difficult to imagine being a first round quarterback. It was amazing to see how he handled it.
8. White not clearedThe Patriots will host a voluntary offseason training session this month. Veteran running backs are welcome to join them.(hip), likely won't participate. White stated that he still had a while before he could participate in the draft party. [after]It was a very serious injury.” Third-year running back This spring, he wants to make a bold move to prove he is up for the job.
9. Brooks is available in TexasGroh, Patriots' director for player personnel fire and passion percolated late Friday night in his media Q&A, classily highlighted the work of area scout Alex Brooks after the Patriots selected players from Texas-based schools in Thornton (Baylor) and Marcus Jones (Houston). Brooks, who is in his fifth season with Patriots, covers Texas as a part of his wider Southwest responsibilities. Brooks played football at West Virginia from 2013-16 and spent the spring 2018 coaching at John Carroll University. He then joined the Patriots' personnel team.
10. Did you know that?Strange is also known as Devin Cole Strange. He is the first player to be drafted from UT-Chattanooga since offensive linemanIn 2017, he was drafted in the sixth round. Strange surpassed Terrell Owens (89th overall in 1996) to become the highest-ever Moc to be drafted into the NFL. He is also the second UT–Chattanooga player drafted and signed by the Patriots. Marrio Grier, who was drafted in the sixth round of 1996, was the other.