Patriots

Georgia receiver Mecole Hardman met with Patriots, per his Instagram

Georgia receiver Mecole Hardman met with Patriots, per his Instagram

The New England Patriots are hot on the wide receiver trail ahead of the 2019 NFL Draft, and Mecole Hardman's Instagram page provides the latest evidence.

Hardman, a fleet-footed receiver prospect out of Georgia, recently posted a photo (since deleted) on his Instagram story from inside the Patriots' locker room, suggesting he's meeting with the team in Foxboro ahead of the draft.

Hardman is a bit undersized at 5-foot-10, 187 pounds but ran a scorching 4.33-second 40-yard dash at the NFL Scouting Combine, the exact same time as current 5-foot-10, 192-pound Patriots wideout Phillip Dorsett.

Hardman caught 35 passes for 543 yards and seven touchdowns as a junior last season before declaring for the NFL Draft a year early.

The Patriots' apparent interest in Hardman is no surprise. Bill Belichick attended Georgia's Pro Day in late March to check on Hardman and fellow wideout Riley Ridley, among others. The Patriots also took two Bulldogs with his first two picks in last year's draft: offensive tackle Isaiah Wynn and running back Sony Michel, whose nameplate is pictured in Hardman's photo above.

Additionally, Hardman is projected as a third-round pick, which is around the time New England could consider drafting a wide receiver, as our Phil Perry points out in his latest seven-round Patriots mock draft.

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This stat shows just how dominant Stephon Gilmore was in 2018

This stat shows just how dominant Stephon Gilmore was in 2018

Stephon Gilmore was sensational for the Patriots in 2018.

The 28-year-old cornerback's performance on the field spoke for itself throughout the Pats' championship campaign, but a look at the numbers provides some context for just how dominant he was.

According to Pro Football Focus, Gilmore only allowed 44 percent of the balls thrown his way to be caught by opposing receivers. That's the lowest percentage of any cornerback in the league with 400 or more coverage snaps.

That amazing stat likely factored into Gilmore earning an "elite" grade from PFF back in February.

Gilmore's outstanding season ended on a perfect note with a game-sealing interception in Super Bowl LIII vs. the Rams. It'll be tough to top that, but he'll look to at least duplicate his success as New England's star DB again in 2019.

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When Harry met Tom - Brady works out with Patriots rookie WR and Edelman

When Harry met Tom - Brady works out with Patriots rookie WR and Edelman

While his teammates were at OTAs this week at Gillette Stadium, Tom Brady, who skipped them for the second year in a row, had a few Patriots around his place for private workouts.

On social media, Brady posted pictures of himself working out with teammate Julian Edelman and more significantly, Patriots first-round pick, wide receiver N'Keal Harry of Arizona State.

Harry, who told reporters Thursday at OTAs that he had yet to speak to Brady personally and had only communicated with him through social media. That's obviously changed the past few days. Harry, who also tweeted a picture of himself catching Brady tosses, had said this week he was excited to "learn from the best." 

Offseason workouts in Foxboro continue Wednesday and Thursday and mandatory minicamp is June 4-6. July training camp dates have yet to be announced. 

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