Versatility, versatility, versatility. If you want to be drafted by the Patriots, it usually has to show up somewhere in your scouting report.
Yes, even if you're an offensive lineman.
At pick No. 78 overall, which was acquired by the Patriots in a trade with the Saints, coach Bill Belichick and director of player personnel Nick Caserio grabbed perhaps the most versatile lineman in this class.
Joe Thuney of North Carolina State measures in at 6-foot-5, 304 pounds and has experience at both guard and tackle. He also served as a backup center for the Wolfpack.
Thuney is athletic enough (he recorded a 4.95-second 40-yard dash, 110-inch broad jump at this year's combine) to project at really any position along the line as a pro. Many believe he'll be best-suited as a guard or center at the next level due to his size, but he moves well enough to be able to shadow pass-rushers.
Touted as someone with tremendous "football character," he's one of those players that Belichick and the Patriots coaching staff will appreciate because he loves the game. And to top it off, he's one of the smartest guys in the draft. He was a semifinalist for the Campbell Trophy (also known as the Academic Heisman), and graduated cum laude with a degree in accounting before his junior season.
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...
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.