When the Patriots went through last year's training camp without holding a single joint practice, it broke a long-standing streak. In six years, the Patriots had 11 joint practice opponents. All 11 opponents had at least one player who ended up signing with New England.
After taking on the Texans and Jaguars in the summer of 2017, we compiled a list of all the joint-practice opponents the Patriots had acquired going back to 2010 and we threw out a few names who were logical fits for the Patriots.
We hit on Ufomba Kamalu, who remains in the defensive end rotation on the Patriots' 90-man roster at the moment. But Kamalu was just one of five Texans who practiced against the Patriots at the Greenbrier in West Virginia two years ago who ended up in New England. Tight end Stephen Anderson (still with the Patriots), receiver Riley McCarron, defensive end Eric Lee and safety Eddie Pleasant all eventually ended up playing for Bill Belichick in some capacity.
There's a trend here, of course: The Patriots love signing players they've competed against in joint workouts, where they get an opportunity to watch how that player goes about his business for multiple days of practice and then a preseason game.
If that trend were to continue, which Lions might interest the Patriots should they become available?