The Patriots will have their eyes in all of the participants at this year’s combine but here are ten participants that will intrigue them because they are ideal scheme fits.
1. Ryan Finley, QB, N.C State: At 6-4 213, Finley has the size and the arm strength the Patriots look for in the quarterback position.
2. Deebo Samuel, WR, South Carolina: Versatile and explosive after the catch, Samuel would give the Patriots a receiver who can make plays in the three step passing game and on perimeter screens.
3. Noah Fant, TE, Iowa: Fant will test well and probably be gone by the time the Patriots pick at 32. Fant has the size and the athleticism team crave at the position.
4. Irv Smith Jr., TE, Alabama: Smith a bit more well rounded as a blocker than Fant. While he is not as explosive, he is still a terrific vertical threat who can get down and separate after the catch. Smith has NFL bloodlines. His father Irv Smith Sr played for the Saints.
5. Chris Lindstrom, G, Boston College: Lindstrom is a Massachusetts kid who developed into one of the best interior lineman in the country last season. He has the length and strength the Patriots look for in the position.
6. Tytus Howard, OT, Alabama State: Howard is one of the most athletic tackles in this draft but he is raw. He needs to get stronger and develop technically. The perfect project for Patriots offensive line coach Dante Scarnecchia.
7. Andre Dillard, OT, Washington State: Dillard is the best pass blocking tackle in this class. He needs to work on his hand placement and fits as a run blocker but he could step in and play right away at left tackle as a rookie.
8. Rock Ya-Sin, CB, Temple: The Patriots want more length at corner. At 6-0 192, Ya-Sin provides that and the man coverage skills Bill Belichick looks for in his corners.
9. Justin Hollins, EDGE, Oregon: Very similar to Derek Rivers. Explosive and long, Hollins can extend blocks and force running backs to cut back inside. Hollins has a quick first step and covers a lot of ground as a pass rusher.
10. Khalen Sanders, DT, Western Illinois: One of the best athletes in this draft on the defensive side of the ball. Sanders have the quickness and bulk to play as a zero nose tackle or as a shade nose.