McDaniels, other assistants reportedly won't attend NFL combine

AP Photo

McDaniels, other assistants reportedly won't attend NFL combine

In the past, the Patriots have held many of their assistant coaches back from the NFL Scouting Combine following a long season. The 2017 season was a long season, and therefore offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels and other Patriots assistants will not be making the trip to Indianapolis. 

ESPN's Mike Reiss is reporting that "the majority of New England coaches" aren't expected to attend. NFL Media's Ian Rapoport is reporting that about half of the defensive staff will be there. 

MORE PATRIOTS - Anyone care to interpret this Gronk tweet? 

While it may be standard operating procedure following a Super Bowl appearance for the bulk of Patriots coaches to miss the week of evaluations at the combine, that McDaniels will not be involved is mildly interesting.

The Patriots are expected to be in the market for a young quarterback to develop behind Tom Brady, and McDaniels (offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach since 2012) will be working right alongside any young quarterback the team selects. McDaniels passed on the chance to become the head coach of the Colts in order to stick in New England, and so it would stand to reason that if the Patriots pick a quarterback, particularly if they pick one in the first few rounds of this year's draft, that quarterback will be working with McDaniels for years to come. 

Wouldn't McDaniels want to have a combine introduction to the players who could be in the running for "The Next Guy" at quarterback for the Patriots?

Maybe. But it's not like seeing them at the combine is the last and only chance to evaluate.

The reality is the opportunities to get to know prospects are limited in Indy. Formal interviews last 15 minutes, whereas meetings surrounding pro days, private workouts and official visits to team facilities are typically much better settings for coaches to familiarize themselves with players.

The combine is far from useless. There's a reason the team interviews players in that setting. But when it comes to finding a Brady successor, it's probably not vital that McDaniels is in attendance to see prospects throw against air, broad jump, and participate in a brief question-and-answer session.

Plus, the person who will make the final call on if the Patriots draft a quarterback and when, Bill Belichick, will be there. Same goes for director of player personnel Nick Caserio. Their bases will be covered.


What are the Patriots getting in Cordarrelle Patterson?

What are the Patriots getting in Cordarrelle Patterson?

The Patriots have made a trade with the Raiders to acquire receiver and special teamer Cordarrelle Patterson, according to a source. The deal, first reported by Pardon My Take, is an interesting one because it lands Patterson with the team that passed on the opportunity to draft him back in 2013. 


Bill Belichick dealt the No. 29 overall pick to the Vikings that year in exchange for four selections, including a second-rounder and a third-rounder. The second-rounder became Jamie Collins, and the third became Logan Ryan. The Patriots also took Josh Boyce with a fourth they received in the trade, and the fourth pick (a seventh) was traded to Tampa Bay in exchange for LeGarrette Blount. The Vikings took Patterson. 

Patterson's career to this point has been a mixed bag. One of the top athletes in the 2013 draft, the Tennessee product never quite panned out as a go-to No. 1 receiver. He has not missed a game in five seasons, but he has never cracked 600 offensive snaps in a single season. The 6-foot-2, 220-pounder has turned himself into more of a gadget receiver as well as one of the game's best special teamers. 

Here's what the Patriots are getting in Patterson . . . 

TOP-TIER SPECIAL TEAMER: Patterson has solidified himself as one of the NFL's best kick-returners. In five seasons, he's ranked as the top returner in terms of average yards per return three times. He's never been outside of the top 10 in the league in that category. Last year he was sixth in the NFL with a 28.3 yards per return average. Patterson has also become a highly-effective gunner on punt units, a role he thrived in once he embraced it, and he has kick coverage experience. Patterson has not been a punt-returner. He has just one punt return under his belt compared to 153 kick returns. Patterson has been named a First-Team All-Pro twice for his work in the kicking game. 

INCONSISTENT RECEIVER: Patterson has never been able to take his explosiveness and translate that into consistent production offensively. He's not thought of as a precise route-runner, and he has a reputation as a "body-catcher." Yet, because he's so dynamic with the ball in his hands, offenses in Oakland and Minnesota have found ways to get the ball in his hands. He'll align in the backfield, take reverses and catch screens just to try to get him the ball in space where he can let his natural abilities take over. If he gets a crease, he can create a chunk play in a blink. 

THE COST: Patterson is in the second year of a two-year deal he signed with the Raiders last offseason. He has a base salary of $3 million and a cap hit of $3.25 million. The Patriots will be sending a fifth-rounder to the Raiders and getting a sixth-rounder back. (As an aside . . . The Patriots have used one fifth-round pick in the last six drafts. It was spent on long-snapper Joe Cardona. Why are they constantly dealing fifths away? Inside the Pylon's Dave Archibald did an interesting piece on that topic about a year and a half ago. The gist is that a) there's a significant drop-off in your chances of finding a star in the fifth compared to the fourth, and b) the talent in the fifth round, by some metrics, hasn't proven to be all that different from the sixth or seventh rounds.) 

THE FIT: Patterson is a relatively low-risk acquisition because of his cap hit (which on the Patriots slots him in between Shea McClellin and Chris Hogan) and because of the draft capital required to nab him. Trading for a player like Patterson as opposed to signing another team's free agent has the added benefit of not impacting the compensatory-pick formula. Patterson also fills a few needs. His abilities as a kick-returner will be more than suitable with last year's primary kick returner for the Patriots, Dion Lewis, out of the mix. What Patterson can do as a gunner and in kick coverage will also be useful with Johnson Bademosi now elsewhere. There's also a chance Matthew Slater plays in a different city in 2017, in which case Patterson's contributions as a gunner and in kick coverage could be critical. With Brandin Cooks, Julian Edelman and Hogan all established in the Patriots offense, Patterson won't be expected to take on a heavy role in the Patriots offense. However, if he can pick up a new system, perhaps he could take on a role as a No. 4 or 5 wideout who benefits from plays designed to get him touches in space. Malcolm Mitchell, Phillip Dorsett and Kenny Britt -- now alongside Patterson -- will all be competing for time in New England's offense. Former Patriots coaching assistant Mike Lombardi seems to believe it's unlikely Patterson contributes offensively


Patriots acquire WR Cordarrelle Patterson in trade with Raiders

Patriots acquire WR Cordarrelle Patterson in trade with Raiders

The Patriots have acquired wide receiver and kick returner Cordarrelle Patterson in a trade with the Raiders, NBC Sports Boston's Phil Perry confirms.

Pardon My Take, a podcast by Barstool Sports, first reported the news.

Ian Rapaport of NFL Network reports the Patriots sent a fifth-round pick to Oakland and received a Raiders' sixth-rounder along with Patterson.

More to come...