Tom Brady isn’t just jumping off cliffs lately. Video and pictures surfaced Saturday of the Patriots quarterback (in black shirt with khakis and backwards hat) playing pickup basketball with Michael Jordan and golfer Keegan Bradley in the Bahamas. Bradley also tweeted about Brady also playing golf with him earlier in the day.

Click here to see photos from the game courtesy of Barstool.

Blog Author: 
Ryan Hannable

WEEI.com will continue to offer daily insight and analysis regarding options that may be available to the Patriots when it comes to the 2015 NFL draft. Here is one in a series of profiles of players who could be on the board when it’s time for the Patriots to make a selection.

Ben Koyack (Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

Ben Koyack is known more for his run-blocking ability, although he caught 30 passes in 2014. (Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

BEN KOYACK

Position: Tight end

School: Notre Dame

Height: 6-foot-5

Weight: 254 pounds

Achievements: 2014 Mackey Award semifinalist for best tight end, 2014 FBS All-Independent team, 2013 Mackey Award watch list

What he brings: Scouts are impressed with Koyack’s ability as a run blocker but would like to see some improvement when he’s asked to move across the line to make a block in the passing game. He is big and athletic, which is expected to help him become an asset to whichever team he joins. There are concerns about his ability to make big plays and make defenders miss after the catch.

Where the Patriots could get him: Rounds 5-7

Notes: ESPN.com ranks Koyack as the sixth tight end and 146th overall in the draft. He finished the 2014 season with 30 receptions for 317 yards and two touchdowns. 2014 was his only season as a full-time starter for Notre Dame.

Related articles:

Chicago Tribune: Koyack looks to impress with football sense, leadership

Video: Koyack tallies three catches for 51 yards against Rice in the first game of the 2014 season.

Blog Author: 
Nik Beimler

What sort of reaction do you think this video got at Gillette Stadium?

Never doing that again! #AirBrady

Posted by Tom Brady on Saturday, March 28, 2015

Blog Author: 
Christopher Price

WEEI.com will continue to offer daily insight and analysis regarding options that may be available to the Patriots when it comes to the 2015 NFL draft. Here is one in a series of profiles of players who could be on the board when it’s time for the Patriots to make a selection.

DeVante Parker (Grant Halverson/Getty Images)

DeVante Parker tied the Louisville career record with 33 touchdown receptions. (Grant Halverson/Getty Images)

DeVANTE PARKER

Position: Wide receiver

School: Louisville

Height: 6-foot-3

Weight: 211 pounds

Achievements: 2014 All-ACC coaches second team, Schellenberger Award for MVP of Louisville-Kentucky game, 2012 All-Big East

What he brings: Height and wingspan (80 inches) make him an attractive target as a big receiver. He drops very few balls and is considered by many scouts to be above average at making catches while receiving hands and bumps from defenders. There are some concerns about his speed and quickness, especially after he broke his foot at the beginning of the 2014 season. Because of this, he is expected to have more contested balls and will have to use his size to make big plays.

Where the Patriots could get him: Round 1

Notes: Parker finished the 2014 season with 43 receptions for 855 yards and five touchdowns despite missing the first seven games with a foot injury. In 2013 he made 55 catches for 885 yards and 12 TDs. He had 10 100-yard receiving games in his career and tied the school record with 33 touchdown receptions. His father, Anthony Shelman, was a running back at Louisville in the early 1990s.

Related articles:

Bleacher Report: Parker belongs in discussion for top WR

ESPN.com: Why Parker deserves first-team All-ACC selection

Video: Here is Parker catching eight passes for 214 yards against FSU in October 2014.

Blog Author: 
Nik Beimler

Shayanna Jenkins, the fiancee of former Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez, was questioned in court on Friday regarding Hernandez’s involvement in the alleged murder of Odin Lloyd. Jenkins was granted immunity in February.

Earlier in the day, another juror was dismissed.

Shayanna Jenkins, the fiancee of former Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez, was questioned in court on Friday regarding Hernandez’s involvement in the alleged murder of Odin Lloyd. Jenkins was granted immunity in February.

Earlier in the day, another juror was dismissed.

ABC News reports that Jenkins testified that the day after she found out about Lloyd’s death, she asked Hernandez if he did it, to which he replied, “No.”

“That was the extent of our conversation,” Jenkins added, according to ABC.

“[Jenkins] is definitely not the star witness,” Fox 25 reporter Ted Daniel said on Middays with MFB. “She is very careful with her answers, she’s having a tough time recalling some of the specific questions.”

Added Daniel: “If the prosecution was looking to win this case on her, it’s not happening.”

In a surveillance video previously seen by the jury, Jenkins is seen removing a garbage bag with what looks like a box inside. Prosecutors believe that the murder weapon, which has not been found, may be inside the box.

Jenkins reportedly said that she does not remember what was in the box.

It is believed that the prosecution is trying to link Hernandez with the missing murder weapon, but Jenkins is not providing any useful information in that area. Earlier in the trial, a cleaner testified that there were several guns in the house, but Jenkins said that she only remembers one, which was kept in the junk drawer.

“She does not sort of back up what the cleaner said that, ‘Hey, no, there was this other larger gun downstairs in one of the basement bedrooms,’ ” Daniel said.

Earlier Friday morning, several jurors were questioned individually by the judge, Susan Garsh. One juror was dismissed for what Daniel said was described as “personal reasons that do not affect the trial.”

Jenkins was scheduled to be questioned further following a lunch break. If she continues to deprive the prosecution of what it was hoping to get from her, Daniel believes that the next key witness will be Alexander Bradley, who alleges that Hernandez shot him in the face four months before Lloyd’s death, causing Bradley to lose an eye.

In a related note, a Westwood man was arrested Thursday after allegedly calling in a bomb threat to the Fall River Justice Center, which caused a brief delay in the trial. Paul Haddad, 56, was taken into custody Thursday and held on $5,000 bail. Authorities said it does not appear to be related to the Hernandez case.

Blog Author: 
Nik Beimler

WEEI.com will continue to offer daily insight and analysis regarding options that may be available to the Patriots when it comes to the 2015 NFL draft. Here is one in a series of profiles of players who could be on the board when it’€™s time for the Patriots to make a selection.

T.J. Yeldon (Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

T.J. Yeldon set an Alabama freshman record with 1,108 rushing yards in 2012. (Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

T.J. YELDON

Position: Running back

School: Alabama

Height: 6-foot-2

Weight: 221 pounds

Achievements: 2014 All-SEC coaches second team, 2013 All-SEC first team, 2013 BCS National Champion

What he brings: Yeldon is tall and lean, which makes for deceptive agility and speed, according to CBS Sports. This contributes to his impressive body control, which helps him make “effortless lateral cuts and leave defenders whiffing at air.” NFL.com praises him for his hips, foot quickness and creativity in in running lanes. He has some issues with ball security and runs a bit too high for some, subjecting himself to big hits.

Where the Patriots could get him: Round 3

Notes: Yeldon had an ankle injury for much of the 2014 season. His role in the NFL is not considered to be clear yet, and one scout thinks he’s “overrated because he went to Alabama.” At Alabama, he produced the best season by a freshman running back for the Crimson Tide in 2012 (1,108 yards) and then posted better numbers the next year (1,235) after stepping into the role of the team’s No. 1 RB. He dipped to 979 yards as a junior last season.

Related articles:

Alabama.com: Who is T.J. Yeldon? A look inside Alabama’s quiet star who’s not big on fame 

ESPN: Nuance drives T.J. Yeldon to greatness, but leads to underestimation

Video: Yeldon helps Alabama set a school record for most points in a quarter during last October’s victory over Texas A&M.

Blog Author: 
Judy Cohen

WEEI.com will continue to offer daily insight and analysis regarding options that may be available to the Patriots when it comes to the 2015 NFL draft. Here is one in a series of profiles of players who could be on the board when it’s time for the Patriots to make a selection.

Trey Flowers (Wesley Hitt/Getty Images)

Trey Flowers (right) helped his cause by posting impressive numbers at the scouting combine. (Wesley Hitt/Getty Images)

TREY FLOWERS

Position: Defensive end

School: Arkansas

Height: 6-foot-2

Weight: 266 pounds

Achievements: 2014 All-SEC second team, 2013 All-SEC second team (coaches), 2011 Freshman All-SEC team

What he brings: Flowers led his team in tackles for loss (15.5 for 95 yards), sacks (six for 71 yards) and quarterback hurries (nine) last season. He was third on the team in total tackles with 68. According to CBS Sports, he doesn’t have exceptional initial quickness, but he can generate good speed off the corner “because of his long gait.” NFL.com praises him as a “high-motor power end,” and says that he is technically sound, also noting that he “doesn’t look like much athletically, but finds his way to the ball against the run.” He registered a 10-foot, 1-inch broad jump, 36.5-inch vertical jump and 12.03-second 60-yard shuttle at the combine, all of which ranked him at or near the top of those categories.

Where the Patriots could get him: Rounds 2-3

Notes: Flowers, who grew up with nine brothers and sisters, is a good student. He considered entering the 2014 NFL draft after posting a season with 50 tackles, 13 tackles for loss and six sacks, and received a third-round grade, but he ultimately decided to return to Arkansas for his senior season. According to NFL.com, Flowers might not have enough to play every down, saying that “his aggressiveness at the point of attack is a plus, but he might have to come off the field on third downs.”

Related articles:

NFLmocks.com: Trey Flowers: Meet the Humble, Hard-Working Arkansas Draft Prospect

Fort Worth Star-Telegram: Being a ‘tweener’ is OK with NFL prospect Flowers

Video: Here is a video of all of Flowers’ plays against Texas in the Advocate Texas Bowl. Flowers finished the game with five tackles and a sack.

Blog Author: 
Judy Cohen
When it comes to evaluating college prospects, Bill Belichick and the Patriots go about scouting in a little different fashion. (Joe Robbins/Getty Images)

When it comes to evaluating college prospects, Bill Belichick and the Patriots go about scouting in a little different fashion than most. (Joe Robbins/Getty Images)

When it comes to the pre-draft scouting process, each one of the 32 NFL teams handles its business differently. Different metrics are used for evaluating prospects, certain qualities are sought out and particular playing styles are assessed as each team tries to find the right formula for success.

In Foxboro, the Patriots have distinguished themselves by ranking prospects in a relatively non-traditional fashion. Instead of putting a grade on a player by round — as most teams do at this time of the year — more of a priority is placed on how that prospect might fit into the New England system.

“They give their scouts a clear set of guidelines in what they are looking for,” according to Dan Hatman, who has worked as a scout for the Giants, Jets and Eagles and now is the Chairman of Scouting Development at The Scouting Academy. “In talking to scouts from New England, it might be the only team that I’m aware of with an internal scout school, for lack of a better term.

“When they go out on the road for evaluations, they are given a very specific set of player profiles. They are not giving players grades by rounds like other teams. Instead, they look at how guys fit into their roster.”

That would support the statements from Phil Savage last spring, when the former college and national scout under Bill Belichick in Cleveland said on Twitter that when he worked with Belichick, he didn’t feel an area scout could know the entire country enough to say “He’s a (second) rounder.” Savage added that Belichick didn’t want round grades, but instead to have the scout categorize a player as a starter, potential starter, backup or camp body.

Per Hatman, that directive can often make a scouts job easier.

“You’re using a defined system,” he said, “as opposed to trying to recreate the wheel every time in trying to figure out where a player could or should be selected.”

It’s just one part of the New England system stands apart from sizable portions of the league, according to Hatman.

“My understanding is that the expose their football personnel people to both coaching and scouting elements, with the idea that coaches are better coaches when they understand the scouting process, and scouts are better scouts when they they understand the coaching process,” Hatman said.

At this point in the pre-draft process, it is absolutely vital that all of the key elements of the franchise are in “lockstep,” to use Hatman’s phraseology. In the last year, there have been notable breakdowns between the front office, scouting department and coaching staffs with three franchises, Philly, San Francisco and Denver, leading ownership to make changes at one level or another.

Hatman said that one of the advantages to the setup like they have in New England — as well as a handful of other places where coaches have say over personnel decisions — is that you have “one voice” crafting your organizational philosophy.

“I don’t want to call it a dictatorship, but when you have one voice guiding the program, it can definitely help,” he said. “Everybody learns from that one voice. If he says, ‘Do you job,’ you know that he’s the man at the top, and you can do your one job and let him take care of the rest. There’s no jockeying for internal position, with the front office politics and such. There can be an advantage to that.

“In that environment, though, you still need a sounding board, a devils’ advocate. A guy who can question from time to time,” he added. “If you only have one voice, you can occasionally get into groupthink, and that can be a negative.”

Regardless, for all 32 teams, this stretch represents the culmination of a long road, one that began in earnest during the college football season, continued through the postseason all-star games and evaluation events like the Senior Bowl and the combine. Now, coaches and ownership take more of a role in the process.

“The role of the scouting staff really shifts based on the time of year and who is involved,” Hatman said. “In my experience, you get ownership much more involved and paying attention. You’re shifting from the evaluation stage to the valuation stage when you are looking at what you can get from a pick as a player. You’re integrating the coaching staff. There are more people involved in the process.”

Teams will hold private workouts, and each franchise is allowed 30 on-site visits. The workouts and the visits could be held for a multitude of reasons.

“You’re really trying to pin down how these guys might factor in your system,” Hatman said of the private workouts and on-site visits. “Take a guy like Bryce Petty at Baylor — this is a guy who is playing in a system that makes a lot of things easier on him. If I’m a quarterbacks coach, a head coach or a GM, I want to better understand how Petty will function in my environment. I have to go and work him out because I have no idea how he’ll fit in this system. You get him in your building and you get him on the board and see what he can do.

“When it comes to the on-site visits, there are a lot of different ways you can go. You can bring guys in you are truly interested in and work them out. You can bring guys in you want to smokescreen. And you can bring guys in you really want to vet physically, or if they’re special character guys where you need more than just the 15 minutes you get at the combine. The owners want to meet them, whatever. There are so many different possibilities.”

Blog Author: 
Christopher Price

Now that the compensatory picks have been assigned and the draft is looming larger, here’s a quick rundown of where the Patriots stand when it comes to draft value at this point on the calendar:

1st round (32nd overall)
2nd round (64th overall)
3rd round (96th overall)
3rd round (97th overall — compensatory)
4th round (101st overall — part of 2014 trade with Tampa Bay for Logan Mankins)
4th round (131st overall)
6th round (178th overall — part of 2014 trade with Tampa Bay for Jonathan Casillas)
7th round (219th overall — compensatory)
7th round (253rd overall — part of 2014 trade with Tennessee for Akeem Ayers)

The Patriots have dealt away three of their picks to this point: a fifth-rounder to the Bucs as part of the Casillas deal, a sixth-rounder to the Titans in the Ayers deal, and a seventh-rounder to the Rams as part of a 2012 deal for wide receiver Greg Salas.

Blog Author: 
Christopher Price