FOXBORO -- After Jacob Hollister's showing on Thursday night against the Jaguars, when he caught seven passes for 116 yards and proved himself to be one of Jimmy Garoppolo's most reliable targets, Bill Belichick was asked where he found the 6-foot-4, 240-pounder.
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Hollister was signed by the Patriots as an undrafted rookie out of Wyoming, which produced two NFL draft picks last spring for just the second time in the last 20 years. Judging by the guaranteed money the Patriots handed him -- $90,000, which was second only to Harvey Langi's $115,000 -- Hollister's talent may have earned him consideration to be drafted as well.
The Patriots picked up both Hollister twins, Jacob and Cody Hollister (a receiver and special teamer out of Arkansas), soon after the draft ended. Here's how Belichick described the way in which Jacob, who is competing for the No. 3 tight end role behind Rob Gronkowski and Dwayne Allen, landed on New England's radar.
"I think we start off with somewhere in the neighborhood of 4,000 players, or whatever it is," Belichick said. "It's a very high number. All of the draft-eligible players in the senior class and all of the different schools.
"Wyoming had a very good football team, had a number of pro prospects. They have some more this year, so that’s no secret. It's a good program and they play good competition.
"[Hollister] had a good spring workout. We also worked out his brother at Arkansas and then Jacob actually trained at Arkansas with his brother in the spring. Obviously, he was pretty committed to playing football, was in a good training program and when the opportunity came after the draft to fill out our roster, he was one of the players that we approached and we were fortunate to be able to sign him."
Hollister plays one of the seemingly few offensive positions on the Patriots roster that has an opening, and what he's done this summer may make him the front-runner for the vacancy. He made the cut in our most recent 53-man roster projection.