Illinois OL Karras could provide beneficial depth to Patriots


Illinois OL Karras could provide beneficial depth to Patriots

Late in the sixth round, the cross-section of Patriots behemoths who consider themselves interior offensive linemen got a bit more crowded. 

With the No. 221 overall pick, the Patriots selected Illinois guard Ted Karras, a 6-foot-4, 308-pound four-year starter who was quietly one of the best pass-blocking guards in the country over the last two seasons. According to Pro Football Focus, in 903 pass blocking attempts in 2014 and 2015, he allowed just 17 pressures. 

With a pro-ready frame and impressive strength (32 reps of 225 pounds on the bench press at his pro day), Karras cuts an imposing image. He comes from good bloodlines as well: He's the seventh member of his family to play in the Big Ten, and his great uncle is the late Alex Karras, who was named to four Pro Bowls during his NFL career. 

The question is now, where will Karras fit? The Patriots are loaded on the interior of the offensive line, and loaded with relatively young talent. The players in the mix for playing time at guard in 2016 include Josh Kline, Shaq Mason, Tre' Jackson, Jonathan Cooper and third-round selection Joe Thuney. Center Bryan Stork has seen time at guard in emergency situations, and center David Andrews will vie for a role this spring and summer as well. 

The Patriots offensive line was decimated by injuries late last year, and in a press conference at the end of the draft Bill Belichick admitted that having a measure of depth -- even if it seems like an overload at first glance -- could be beneficial.

Report: Patriots special teams ace Slater visiting Steelers

Report: Patriots special teams ace Slater visiting Steelers

Patriots seven-time Pro Bowl special teamer Matthew Slater is in Pittsburgh on Saturday making a free-agent visit to the rival Steelers, according to an ESPN's Field Yates.

Slater, who turns 33 in September, has spent the past 10 seasons in a New England. The special teams captain and one of the leaders in the locker room signed a one-year, $1.8 million contract extension in 2016.

The Patriots lost special teamer Johnson Bademosi to the Texans in free agency on Friday but signed special teamers Brandon Bolden and Brandon King just before the free agency period began.

More to come...

Brady tests his 'Brady Bunch' knowledge on NPR

Brady tests his 'Brady Bunch' knowledge on NPR

Tom Brady has been making the media rounds lately with "Good Morning America" and "The Late Show with Stephen Colbert" appearances this past week to promote his "Tom vs. Time" series and TB12 Method book. On Saturday, Brady was a phone-in guest on NPR's "Wait, Wait...Don't Tell Me" for their "Not My Job" segment. 

Before a mostly cheering live audience in Hartford and after a discussion of the benefits and drawbacks - mostly drawbacks - of tomatoes and strawberries, plus an assessment of the intelligence of most defensive coordinators, Brady settled in to handle three questions about the world's second-most famous Bradys, the family from the classic sitcom - "The Brady Bunch".

Click here to listen and see how he did.