We're getting into the portion of the Prototypical Patriots series where the unusual nature of this offseason — where everything that happens both draft-related and otherwise, obviously — is colored by COVID-19.

When it comes to drafted defensive backs, the Patriots have largely taken athletes who have tested very well. Athleticism matters on the back end in New England. But this year, it's harder than ever to know exactly where certain prospects fall on the athleticism spectrum.

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First, there was what happened at the combine in February. With a heavily-altered schedule for prime-time television ratings, many players opted to skip certain portions of the athletic tests. Others skipped them altogether, thinking they'd have a chance to record numbers at their pro days. Then COVID-19 wiped out those pro days.

As a result, we're dealing with less information than usual at this time of year. Still, we can try to peg Patriots fits based on their heights and weights, their college résumés and the programs from which they hail. Here are the safeties we've tabbed this offseason as "prototypes" for New England.


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