Patriots

NFL draft rumors: Patriots have shown a 'ton of interest' in QB Will Grier

NFL draft rumors: Patriots have shown a 'ton of interest' in QB Will Grier

The New England Patriots currently are slated to close out the first round of the 2019 NFL Draft with pick No. 32, and after passing on Louisville quarterback Lamar Jackson in a similar spot in last year's draft, could they use this season's first-rounder to select Tom Brady's eventual successor?

Grier is one of the top quarterbacks in the 2019 NFL Draft and could be selected anywhere from the mid-to-late first round to the early portion of the second round. What level of interest do the Patriots have in Grier with Thursday night's first round fast approaching? Tony Pauline of Draft Analyst reported an update Monday:

The New England Patriots have shown a ton of interest in Grier and could draft him as the first round closes out. The New York Giants also like Grier, and he could be their fallback plan if they don’t take a signal caller in Round 1. The Carolina Panthers also have an infatuation with Grier and will consider him in the second round.

Would the Patriots really take Grier in Round 1, or is this a smokescreen designed to trip up opposing front offices?

The Patriots do need a quarterback of the future. Contrary to what we've seen from Tom Brady in recent seasons, the 41-year-old quarterback will, at some point, start to break down and eventually retire. There aren't any great candidates already on the roster to play the role of Brady's successor, so drafting a QB this weekend makes a lot of sense for New England.

Grier played really well for the Mountaineers last season. He completed 67 percent of his passes for 3,864 yards with 34 touchdown passes and eight interceptions. He reportedly visited with the Patriots earlier this month, as did Duke quarterback Daniel Jones. Missouri quarterback Drew Lock could be available on Day 2 of the draft as well.

Click here for our final 2019 Patriots mock draft roundup>>>

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WATCH: First look at Patriots OTA's and new linebackers coach Jerod Mayo

WATCH: First look at Patriots OTA's and new linebackers coach Jerod Mayo

Monday marked the first day of Patriots OTA's, and the team's Twitter account posted a first look at players going through some drills along with new linebackers coach Jerod Mayo getting his first taste of NFL coaching experience. 

Mayo was brought on to Bill Belichick's staff in March after the position was vacated by now Dolphins head coach Brian Flores. Mayo spent all eight seasons of his playing career as a linebacker for the Patriots, earning two Pro-Bowl selections, a First-Team All-Pro selection in 2010 and the 2008 Defensive Rookie of the Year award.

He was also a member of the Super Bowl 49-winning Patriots, who defeated the defending champion Seattle Seahawks thanks to an interception by Malcolm Butler in the closing moments of the game.

Mayo and the Patriots defense have a lot to live up to after a dominant performance against the Rams in Super Bowl 53. They will use the time in OTA's to get acclimated before mandatory minicamp starts on June 4. 

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Patriots re-sign DT Danny Shelton, release center Jake Eldrenkamp

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USA TODAY Sports

Patriots re-sign DT Danny Shelton, release center Jake Eldrenkamp

The New England Patriots have bolstered their front seven by re-signing veteran defensive lineman Danny Shelton, the team announced Monday.

He reacted to his Patriots return with the following tweet:

Financial details of Shelton's contract were not revealed by the team. The Pats also released center Jake Eldrenkamp to make room for Shelton on the roster.

Shelton tallied 21 total tackles with one QB hit and one tackle for a loss in 13 games (one start) for the Patriots in 2018. He played in two playoff games, including New England's 13-3 win over the Los Angeles Rams in Super Bowl LIII.

It was his first season with the Patriots after spending the first three years of his NFL career on the Cleveland Browns. The 25-year-old defensive tackle is listed at 6-foot-2 and 345 pounds.

Here's how Shelton's return impacts the Patriots' defensive tackle depth chart.

Lawrence Guy
Mike Pennel
Adam Butler
Frank Herron
Ufomba Kamalu
David Parry
Byron Cowart
Danny Shelton

Click here for Phil Perry's latest 53-man roster projection>>>

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