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.

Nick O'Leary (Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

Nick O’Leary is Florida State’s career leader for receptions, yards and touchdowns by a tight end. (Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

NICK O’LEARY

Position: Tight end

School: Florida State

Height: 6-foot-3

Weight: 247 pounds

Achievements: 2014 Mackey Award for best tight end, 2014 All-American, 2014 All-ACC first team, 2013 Mackey Award finalist, 2013 All-ACC second team

What he brings: O’Leary is a versatile tight end who has experience lining up in in several different formations. He is praised for his blocking ability, especially when matched up against similarly sized defenders. Scouts also like his ability to beat zone defenses, consistently hold on to the football, and compete for yardage after the catch. However, there are concerns that his size will limit his ability to effectively block bigger NFL defenders. He is not the most athletic tight end and is not expected to be a big-play threat, especially against man coverage. He is considered one of the most tenacious players in the draft.

Where the Patriots could get him: Rounds 4-6

Notes: ESPN.com ranks O’Leary as the fourth tight end and 123rd overall in the draft. He finished the 2014 season with 48 receptions for 618 yards and six touchdowns. He ended his FSU career as the school’s all-time leader among tight ends in receptions (114), yards (1,591) and touchdowns (18). O’Leary didn’t miss a game in his final two seasons with the Seminoles. He finished fourth among tight ends at the scouting combine in the bench press, with 21 reps. He is the grandson of golfer Jack Nicklaus.

Related articles:

ESPN.com: O’Leary tough competitor, hard to play against

Video: Here are highlights from O’Leary’s 2014 season.

Blog Author: 
Nik Beimler
Julian Edelman was rocked pretty hard a few times in Super Bowl XLIX. (Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)

Julian Edelman was rocked pretty hard a few times in Super Bowl XLIX. (Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)

The Patriots have been at the center of many of the discussions regarding potential rules changes this offseason with several proposals, as well as some tweaks that may have been suggested by New England’s conference rivals following a bitter playoff defeat.

And now, in a roundabout way, there’s another rule change that may be put into place in 2015 because of the Patriots. In the second half of Super Bowl XLIX, wide receiver Julian Edelman helped move the chains with a big third-down reception, but after he withstood a bone-rattling hit, it appeared he was wobbly when he got to his feet. Edelman himself dismissed concussion talk after the game, but some people speculated if the receiver was indeed concussed as the result of the hit.

On Monday at the league meetings in Arizona, the competition committee discussed a new proposal where an independent official — what committee members referred to as an ATC spotter who viewed the game from a press box or similar vantage point — would have the power to radio to an official to stop the game if he notices a player who should go through the concussion protocol. The player would then be removed from the game and checked by trainers.

Falcons president Rich McKay, who serves on the competition committee, was asked if the Edelman play spurred the decision to be more proactive when it comes to concussion issues.

“The Edelman situation was a play we looked at, and it was part of the issue,” he said. “There were a couple of other plays that go back a couple of years that we looked at and really it came a little bit from the health and safety committee just saying, ‘We got the ATC spotters, they’ve got a really good vantage point, they’ve got technology in their booth, they’re communicating pretty well with our trainers and doctors and we’ve got a pretty good rhythm going there, why would we miss a player where a player shouldn’t come out?’ And maybe this becomes the fail-safe. So that was the genesis of it.

“We do not expect this to be a rule that gets used a lot. We expect it to be a fail-safe when people just don’t see this player and the distress the player may have had, the ATC spotter does and stops the game.”

McKay also expanded on some of the logistical aspects of what happens when the player is removed from the game.

“(The team) will be able to substitute. In the case of the offense, bring in the new player, the defense will have the chance to match up,” he added. “But we will start the play clock where it was, unless it was inside 10 seconds. Then we will reset back to 10. But the thinking is, we didn’t want to create a situation where a team could potentially gain a competitive advantage or disadvantage through this process.”

The proposal will be voted on this week.

Blog Author: 
Christopher Price

The Patriots were awarded two compensatory picks in the 2015 NFL draft on Monday. New England will receive the 97th pick overall, a third rounder, as well as the 36th pick of the seventh round, No. 253 overall.

Robert Kraft and Vince Wilfork were together for 11 seasons. (Jim Rogash/Getty Images)

Robert Kraft and Vince Wilfork were together for 11 seasons. (Jim Rogash/Getty Images)

Seeing Vince Wilfork depart was “one of the toughest things” Robert Kraft had to endure as the owner of the Patriots, he said Monday.

“It was even harder than anything else,” Kraft told reporters at the league meetings in Arizona. “He’s someone we watched come in here; I developed a very strong personal tie to him. It’s the hardest part of this game, speaking as a fan and also someone who got to know him and Bianca and his kids.”

The veteran defensive tackle, who had spent 11 seasons with the Patriots, announced on March 5 that the team was not going to pick up his option, and that he would become a free agent. And on March 16, while bidding a fond farewell to New England, he announced he was signing with the Texans.

Kraft said Wilfork’s goodbye to the Patriots was “something beautiful.”

“He’ll always be a Patriot and he’s keeping his home here. Sometimes the player is more valuable to one team than other team given how they’re constructed. Losing Vince is probably one of the hardest things that happened. (There are) some emotional ties. He’s a pretty special guy.”

Blog Author: 
Christopher Price

The Patriots were awarded two compensatory picks in the 2015 NFL draft on Monday. New England will receive the 97th pick overall, a third rounder, as well as the 36th pick of the seventh round, No. 253 overall.

The league uses an abstract formula to determine compensatory picks, one that includes total free agents gained and lost the previous offseason, as well as how those players performed with their new teams. A team can receive a maximum of four picks, and they could fall anywhere between the end of the third round and the end of the seventh round. In the case of the Patriots, their formula weighed the losses of Aqb Talib, Brandon Spikes, LeGarrette Blount and Dane Fletcher against the signings of Brandon LaFell and Brandon Browner.

As it stands right now, New England has nine picks in the 2015 draft, including four in the top 100 (Nos. 32, 64, 96 and 97 overall). The Patriots also hold two fourth-round picks (Nos. 101 and 131), a single selection in the sixth (No. 177) and two in the seventh (Nos. 219 and 253).

For more Patriots news, check out weei.com/patriots.

Blog Author: 
Christopher Price

A much subdued Jets owner Woody Johnson spoke at the NFL owners meetings in Arizona Monday, as the last time he spoke at length it led to an eventual tampering charge against the organization for talking about Darrelle Revis who w

A much subdued Jets owner Woody Johnson spoke at the NFL owners meetings in Arizona Monday, as the last time he spoke at length it led to an eventual tampering charge against the organization for talking about Darrelle Revis who was under contract with the Patriots at the time.

Since he last spoke, when announcing the firing of Rex Ryan, the Jets signed Revis. It’s been reported the organization is being investigated for possibly tampering with Revis, with a report saying the NFL sent league officials to the Jets offices.

Johnson isn’t concerned.

“It’€™s just something the league is looking at,” he said to reporters in Arizona. “So, I’€™m not worried about anything. I’€™m worried about getting better.”

The Jets signed Revis to a five-year contract worth $70 million, including about $39 million in guaranteed money right as free agency opened. Johnson knows even with how good Revis is, you cannot win with just one player.

“We’€™re trying to get us better,” said Johnson “He’€™s one player. One player can’€™t lift a franchise.”

For more Patriots news, visit weei.com/patriots.

Blog Author: 
Ryan Hannable

The last few years, for whatever reason, Patriots coach Bill Belichick hasn’t made the annual coaches’ picture which is snapped at the league meetings. This has caused something of a mild uproar in some circles, and sparked some absolutely ingenious Photoshop jobs in others. This year, Belichick made it — and here’s photographic proof. From the account of NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy.

Blog Author: 
Christopher Price

Patriots owner Robert Kraft said Monday the team “made a very competitive offer” in an attempt to re-sign cornerback Darrelle Revis and “wanted to keep him,” but it simply didn’t happen.

Darrelle Revis spent one season with the Patriots. (Billie Weiss/Getty Images)

Darrelle Revis spent one season with the Patriots. (Billie Weiss/Getty Images)

Patriots owner Robert Kraft said Monday the team “made a very competitive offer” in an attempt to re-sign cornerback Darrelle Revis and “wanted to keep him,” but it simply didn’t happen.

“We thought we made a very competitive offer,” Kraft told reporters while speaking at the NFL owners meetings. “I speak as a fan of the New England Patriots — we wanted to keep him. We wanted him in our system, and we have certain disciplines.

“We had hoped it worked out. It didn’t.”

Kraft noted that there are three key members of their defense who could be facing free agency in the next 24 months — linebackers Jamie Collins and Domt’a Hightower and defensive end Chandler Jones — and that that they needed to take their situations into account.

“We just don’t think about short-term decisions. For example, next year we have three very good young defensive players coming up and we have to factor that.”

He added: “We just don’t look at this year; we look out at the next few years. We’ve done OK doing that. As a fan, in March and April, I hate to lose (Revis). But our real focus is what goes on in the fall and winter. I put my faith and respect with (coach) Bill (Belichick). We have a lot of discussions, and he’s done pretty good the last 15 years. The fan in me argues all the time with him, but he has a pretty good record.”

To that point, Kraft was asked if he was talked out of matching the Jets offer by Belichick.

“No. I listen to what he says,” he said. “We discuss things thoroughly, but he has done a pretty good job. Once again, the emotion and fan in me, you want to keep all the good players and we have a salary cap. I know what it’s like when you lose a game in the fall and the winter, so the emotion of the spring has to have some discipline if you want to be good long-term. I think he’s proven to be a pretty good manager of our resources.”

For more Patriots news, check out weei.com/patriots.

Blog Author: 
Christopher Price