Dolphins DB Minkah Fitzpatrick is preparing to split time again between cornerback and safety this season.
“The type of defense we’re projected to run, you have to be versatile,” Fitzpatrick said, via Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald. “You got to move around. I don’t think anyone in the secondary will be sitting in one spot. You could be in one spot in one game and in the next week, be in a different spot. No matter who you are, you have to move around, you have to cover guys in the slot, cover guys outside. It adds value to myself, to play different spots on the field. It adds value to me. It may be extremely tough and hard and taxing, but it’s worth it in the end. It’s worth it because you make more plays.”
Former Jets GM Mike Tannenbaum said he saw a lot of similarities between Jets HC Adam Gase and Rex Ryan.
“Both those guys are just inherently very confident people,” Tannenbaum said via ESPN’s Rich Cimini. “When you sat with Rex in a meeting, he would tell the special-teams coach, ‘Hey, this week we’re not going to practice kickoff returns because they’re not going to score.’ He wouldn’t just say it to say it. He said it because in his soul he felt that way.
“I can’t tell you how many times Adam would walk up in the hallway and say, ‘Hey, just so you know, when we’re ahead by 25, I’m going to onside-kick it in the fourth quarter because I want people to know how high our standards are.’ He would truly feel that way. … I think one of his super powers, one of his true gifts is he’s very confident and very relatable, especially on the offensive side of the ball.”
Former Patriots WR Deion Branch says a key for rookie wide receivers adjusting to the Patriots is familiarity with pro schemes.
“That’s a vital part of [the Patriots’] offense — understanding blitzes, adjusting on the fly,” Branch said via ESPN’s Mike Reiss. “A lot of kids coming out of college don’t understand that until they get to the NFL. That can take a while, and I noticed that with some guys when I was there as they were bringing younger receivers in. I was blessed to go through a college program with an offensive coordinator who took us through those things.”
Branch adds it takes time to digest the Patriot’s large playbook, which changes drastically week-to-week depending on the opponent.
- Reiss says to keep an eye on Georgia WR Mecole Hardman, who’s valued for the Patriots for his speed and versatility, in the second or third round.
- Per Reiss, the Patriots hosted Missouri LB Terez Hall for a top-30 visit.
- The Patriots have shown strong interest in potentially drafting a quarterback, hosting Duke’s Daniel Jones, West Virginia’s Will Grier, Northwestern’s Clayton Thorson and Auburn’s Jarrett Stidham for visits.
- Reiss mentions the Patriots list of pre-draft visitors also includes South Carolina WR Deebo Samuel, Ole Miss WR A.J. Brown, Baylor WR Jalen Hurd, Arizona State WR N’Keal Harry, Texas A&M TE Jace Sternberger, Iowa TE Noah Fant, Washington OT Kaleb McGary and Mississippi State S Johnathan Abram.
- LSU TE Foster Moreau worked out with the Patriots last week. (Ryan Dunleavy)