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6 Senior Bowl stars who could be intriguing fits for the Patriots


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Several players have stood out in the Senior Bowl, which has featured future Patriots in the past.

Devonte Wyatt of Georgia was considered by many scouts and pundits to be one of the best players in the Senior Bowl. (AP Photo/Dill Butch)

If you followed the Senior Bowl in 2021, you might have caught a glimpse of a few Patriots players. Mac Jones, Rhamondre Stevenson and Joshuah Bledsoe all played in the College All-Star Game months before being drafted by the Patriots.

The Senior Bowl also featured future Patriots before last year. They selected 44 players who have played in the game since 2010 and the 16 players they drafted who have played in the game since 2017 are tied for eighth in the NFL.

With that in mind, here are six Senior Bowl standouts who could be a good fit for the Patriots.

Defensive tackle Devonte Wyatt, Georgia

Wyatt is one of the most touted prospects who played in Mobile last week. NFL draft experts Todd McShay and Daniel Jeremiah believe Wyatt has cemented his status as a first-round pick in the Senior Bowl.

“Some defensive linemen are all hands. Some are all about quickness and speed. But Wyatt binds his feet and hands so well,” McShay wrote. “His feet are still moving as he works on the blockers with his upper body strength. He was already in the first-round conversation before the Senior Bowl, but he put a stamp on it this week.

“He showed how dynamic and explosive he is, especially in one-on-one pass-rush drills,” Jeremiah wrote for NFL.com. “His combination of speed and power was on display. He looked like a first-round pick.

Wyatt doesn’t feature the same height as fellow Georgia defensive tackle and first-round prospect Jordan Davis, standing 6-foot-3 and weighing 307 pounds, but his lateral quickness has been praised by scouts. He was among several stars of the Georgia defense en route to the Bulldogs’ national title, recording 39 combined tackles (seven for loss), 2.5 sacks, two forced fumbles.

On the face of it, the Patriots aren’t in dire need of a defensive tackle. They just signed Christian Barmore in the second round last season and he’s had a promising rookie year. But Lawrence Guy turns 32 in March and Davon Godchaux could be someone the Patriots cut to free up some space.

Defensive Lineman Perrion Winfrey, Oklahoma

Could the Patriots sign a defensive lineman from Oklahoma for a second straight year? Perrion Winfrey, a former teammate of 2021 third-round pick Ronnie Perkins, won the Senior Bowl MVP title on Saturday, recording two sacks and three tackles for a loss in the game.

Winfrey is not expected to be selected as high as Wyatt, with Bleacher Report currently projecting him as a late third-round pick. But that could change after a good week at the Senior Bowl. Like Wyatt though, Winfrey’s hand and foot speed was praised by the scouts. But Bleacher Report’s NFL scout Derrik Klassen warns teams to be careful selecting Winfrey.

“Winfrey has exciting traits and developmental value, but he’s at least a few years away from being NFL ready,” Klassen wrote. “He’s also best suited for a role that’s not as prevalent in the NFL as it once was.”

Winfrey had a strong season at Oklahoma in 2021, recording 23 combined tackles (11 for loss), 5.5 sacks and a forced fumble.

Wide receiver Christian Watson, North Dakota St.

Watson only had one strike in Saturday’s game, but that one was impressive. He caught a low pass from Pittsburgh quarterback Kenny Pickett, dropping to the ground to grab before getting up and running for a 38-yard gain.

He didn’t need to light up the stat sheet on Saturday to get attention. Senior Bowl cornerbacks voted Watson the top wide receiver in Senior Bowl practices.

Watson exhibits good height, standing 6-foot-4 and weighing 210 pounds, and speed, sprinting 4.40 for 40 yards during one of his school’s practices. He had a strong season at North Dakota St., recording 43 catches for 801 yards and seven touchdowns.

The Patriots’ need for a receiver is obvious, especially as Mac Jones continues to progress. And it looks like New England is interested in the North Dakota St. product. Watson shared he’s spoken with the Patriots and what he likes about them.

“I followed Mac Jones through college. Obviously, he’s a prime-time quarterback,” Watson said, via The Boston Globes Jim McBride.

Watson also shared what his best traits are.

“I would say the combination of my speed and my size, how well I’m able to use my speed and how quick I am to get a separation separates me from other receivers,” Watson said.

Pro Football Network projects Watson as either a late Day 2 pick or an early Day 3 pick.

Offensive tackle Trevor Penning, Northern Iowa

Penning was a social media star of the Senior Bowl practice week, with one clip in particular of his one-on-one blocking going viral.

Jeremiah shared that getting stuck in clips like this is a reason he’s high on him.

“Highlights of Penning’s poor finishes continue to make the rounds on social media,” Jeremiah wrote. “He got rave reviews for those plays, although they weren’t a surprise. There’s a reason he’s my No. 25 prospect in the draft. Penning still had some issues with protection a bit too high against passing but I thought he had improved in that area over the week he didn’t see a lot of elite pass throwers in college which is why this week is so important for him. I think he did well against a good group of defensive lines in practice.

Penning is huge, standing almost 6ft 7in and weighing 330lbs. Draft Network’s Drae Harris thinks Penning’s best fit might be in a power scheme, but thinks he can fit anywhere.

“Good athlete with good explosion and agility to get off the perimeter,” Harris wrote. “In the running game, he’s a mean, physical player. He has a wild temper and has finished several plays with the defender on the ground. He is extremely powerful at the attacking point and achieves consistent vertical movement in the game race.

Scouts see Penning as someone who could make it to the first round of the draft.

The Patriots had a solid game once right tackle Trent Brown returned from a midseason injury in 2021. However, Brown is an unrestricted free agent and starting left tackle Isaiah Wynn is entering the senior year. of his rookie contract. With the uncertainty at both tackle points beyond 2022, it wouldn’t be a shock if the Patriots drafted one this spring. Bill Belichick has also selected a few offensive tackles in the first two rounds of the draft in the past, including selecting Wynn and Nate Solder in the first round.

Defensive tackle Logan Hall, Houston

Hall has fans in both Jeremiah and McShay, who both named Hall one of their top Senior Bowl performers of the week. Jeremiah praised Hall’s athleticism while McShay wrote that he was a fan of Hall’s versatility.

“He’s active with his hands, quick and ultra-versatile,” McShay wrote. “I could see him playing defensive end or 4-technique in a 4-3 pattern, or 5-technique or nose tackle in a 3-4. Watching him this week, I find it hard to understand why he’s not in the first-round conversation. Maybe it’s just because he doesn’t have a real fit. Versatility can work for and against you. But personally, I like a player that offers the ability to play anywhere.

Hall is very tall, 6-foot-6 and weighed 278 pounds in the Senior Bowl. He had an impressive year in Houston, recording 47 combined tackles (13 for loss) and six sacks.

Klassen is a fan of Hall’s hands.

“Logan Hall is a tone-maker up front,” Klassen wrote. “He puts a ton of power into his punch and plays with attitude with every smack.

“On run defense, Hall’s heavy hands and solid grounding allow him to take control of the blocks early on. His lower body strength and heavy hands still show in the passing game. Hall has a relentless leg drive as a passing thrower in addition to active, hard-hitting hands.

Hall is currently slated to be a late first-round/second-round pick.

Cincinnati cornerback Coby Bryant

Bryant earned the respect of his fellow wide receivers during Senior Bowl week, getting named the best corner of the week.

Bryant had a stellar season in Cincinnati, recording three picks, two forced fumbles and 11 passes defended en route to winning the Jim Thorpe Award for the nation’s top defensive back.

Despite taking the honors, Bryant is unlikely to be a first-round pick. Scouts are currently projecting him as a third-round pick. While Bleacher Report’s NFL scout Cory Giddings likes Bryant’s height (6-foot-1, 191 pounds) and athleticism, he doesn’t like Bryant’s ability to “get the edge” as a as race defender.

“A lot of times he can get pushed around by receivers and linemen,” Giddings wrote. “Although he is able to disengage and find the ball, he can be soft on the edge; preferring to defeat most blocks with speed. He tackles well when he fills the lanes, delivering a good shot on contact. Although he is strong-willed, he sometimes struggles to tackle in space.

However, Giddings generally likes Bryant in pass coverage.

“He shows some tension when he turns his hips around, he’s able to open up and run; carrying most receivers deep,” Giddings wrote. “When he’s playing out of coverage, he does a really good job seeing the quarterback, through the receiver and coming out of the breaks to play the ball. Although he plays with a good sense of position, he sometimes struggles with his change of direction, becoming sensitive to double moves and wider receivers. Bryant showed good ball skills and good timing; with the ability to stay calm while playing the ball in the air.

The Patriots will have to sort out their cornerback situation in some form this offseason. Star corner JC Jackson is an unrestricted free agent and they lacked depth outside of him last season, especially after slot corner Jonathan Jones was injured for the season.



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