Patriots

Patriots cancel final two OTA sessions

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Patriots cancel final two OTA sessions

It looks like the conversations about whether or not Tom Brady and Rob Gronkowski should be at the final week of Patriots OTAs can end two days early.

Patriots chairman and CEO Robert Kraft told reporters on Tuesday afternoon that the team would be cancelling its final two days of voluntary practices. The team was previously scheduled to practice on both Thursday and Friday.

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"Our players will be let off today at 2 [p.m.]," Kraft said. "Part of that is, I think there are great things that happened last week having everyone here. Yesterday I think they had a team building activity that was really good.

"The new young players we have here, the free agents . . . I'm excited about this team and I think we're going to have a lot of fun this year. I understand sometimes people in the media have to work things up a little bit, but I'll just tell you, I and my family are very excited about the upcoming season."

The Patriots had voluntary workouts scheduled for Monday and Tuesday of this week, but Monday's activities consisted of team-building events at Fenway Park.

Voluntary workouts have long been touted by different members of the Patriots -- coaches, players and ownership included -- as an important time of year to prepare the team for training camp. Canceling the final two workouts would seem to be an indication that, in Belichick's estimation, the players who've been involved have shown they'll be in a good place once training camp rolls around.

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In summary, the Patriots' spring consisted voluntary workouts that began in mid-April, seven voluntary OTA practices, three mandatory minicamp practices and one team-building day at Fenway Park.

There is no official start date for Patriots camp at this point, but it is expected to open during the final week in July.

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Patriots draft prospects tracker: Notable players to meet with New England

Patriots draft prospects tracker: Notable players to meet with New England

Unlike in past years, the NFL Draft could help the New England Patriots address some serious needs.

The Patriots enter the 2019 NFL Draft armed with 12 total picks, more than any team in the league. With holes to fill wide receiver, tight end and defensive end (among others) and a potential quarterback of the future to target, head coach Bill Belichick and Co. actually might use a lot of those picks.

Exactly what the Patriots have up their sleeve when the draft kicks off April 25 is anyone's guess. But we can get a feel for their strategy by observing which prospects the team holds individual meetings with in the days and weeks leading up to the draft.

Below is a list of notable NFL draft prospects (organized by position) who have already met with or plan to meet with New England this offseason, as confirmed by reports or the prospects themselves:

QUARTERBACK
Will Grier, West Virginia
Daniel Jones, Duke
Jarrett Stidham, Auburn
Clayton Thorson, Northwestern

WIDE RECEIVER
A.J. Brown, Ole Miss
David Sills, West Virginia
Gary Jennings, West Virginia
Marquise Brown, Oklahoma
Riley Ridley, Georgia
Andy Isabella, UMass
Deebo Samuel, South Carolina
Hunter Renfrow, Clemson

N'Keal Harry, Arizona State
Miles Boykin, Notre Dame

Nsimba Webster, Eastern Washington
Mecole Hardman, Georgia
Jalen Hurd, Baylor

TIGHT END
Noah Fant, Iowa
Irv Smith Jr., Alabama

Jace Sternberger, Texas A&M
Kaden Smith, Stanford
Isaac Nauta, Georgia

OFFENSIVE LINE
OT Kaleb McGary

SAFETY
Johnathan Abram, Mississippi State

CORNERBACK
Joejuan Williams, Vanderbilt

LINEBACKER
Blake Cashman, Minnesota
Terez Hall, Missouri

DEFENSIVE LINE
DE Jalen Jelks, Oregon
DE Zach Allen, Boston College
DT Jerry Tillery, Notre Dame
DT Kingsley Keke, Texas A&M

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NFL Rumors: Patriots met with LB prospect Terez Hall last week

NFL Rumors: Patriots met with LB prospect Terez Hall last week

The New England Patriots have used a good portion of their 30 allotted pre-draft visits on offensive skill players, namely wide receivers and tight ends.

But they reportedly added a linebacker to the mix last week.

That'd be Missouri's Terez Hall, whom the Patriots hosted on an official visit last Wednesday, according to ESPN's Mike Reiss.

After injuring his pectoral muscle and running a disappointing 4.9-second 40-yard dash at the NFL Scouting Combine, Hall projects as a late-round pick. But as Reiss points out, he still was important enough for the Patriots -- and new linebackers coach Jerod Mayo -- to devote time and energy on evaluating.

The Patriots "invest(ed) notable resources to finalize their evaluation of (Hall), with newly hired assistant coach Jerod Mayo playing a significant role in the process," Reiss wrote.

Hall joins Minnesota's Blake Cashman as the only two linebackers who reportedly visited the Patriots. It's not exactly a position of need, as Dont'a Hightower, Elandon Roberts, Kyle Van Noy and Ju'Whaun Bentley highlight a group that was solid in 2018. 

But it shouldn't surprise you that Bill Belichick and his staff are leaving no stone unturned before the 2019 NFL Draft begins Thursday.

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