Alabama quarterback AJ McCarron met with the Patriots Wednesday. (AP)
Another day, another series of prospect workouts for the Patriots:
1. Several outlets reported that Alabama quarterback AJ McCarron met with the Patriots on Wednesday. On the heels of the news that New England has reached out to Zach Mettenberger, McCarron is likely another quarterback who could be had somewhere after the first round — perhaps on Day 2. (For what it’s worth, at this point the Patriots’ second day picks are at No. 62 and No. 93.)
The Crimson Tide product didn’t post overwhelming stats as a collegian — 9,019 passing yards, 77 touchdowns and 15 picks — but has a pair of national championships on his resume, as well as the fact that he quarterbacked a team coached by one of Bill Belichick‘s most trusted former colleagues in Nick Saban.
Speaking at the combine in February, McCarron was open in his level of respect for the Patriots, Belichick and Tom Brady. He called New England “the Alabama of pro football,” and was asked if he patterned his game after anyone in the league.
“When it comes to similarities, from body build, to how we were talked about coming out of college, I think Tom Brady,” McCarron said, who has spoken with Brady in the past. “I think we play the game the same way. He still moves in the pocket pretty well to get away from blitzes. Everyone doubted his arm strength coming out. It’s turned out pretty good so far.
“I love the Patriots organization,” McCarron said. “If I had the chance to go there and sit behind Brady for however long and learn from one of the best to ever play the game, that would be an awesome experience.”
2. The Patriots held a private workout with Illinois State defensive end Colton Underwood on Thursday, per a league source. The 6-foot-3 255-pounder played in 45 games as a collegian and finished with 215 tackles. He finished third in ISU history in career tackles-for-loss with 44 and No. 4 on the career sacks list with 21.5 after senior season. While he was a defensive end in college, his size and skill set suggest that he might be a good fit as an outside linebacker in a 3-4 defense at the next level, provided he can show an ability to drop into coverage. To that end, he’s dropped 15 pounds since the end of the season in an attempt to make the switch. (One intriguing part to his game that could also help him at the next level is the fact that he showed some ability as a fullback in some of his pre-draft workouts, and that sort of versatility is always welcome in Foxboro.) For more on Underwood, check out this piece on him here.
3. The Patriots also worked out center Weston Richburg out of Colorado State on Thursday, per Tony Pauline. Richburg, who was reportedly put through his paces by New England offensive line coach Dave DeGuglielmo, is a 6-foot-3, 298-pounder who has manned the middle of the Rams offensive line for the better part of the last four years. (He started in 50 consecutive games over the course of four years ‘ a school record.) He was a Mountain West first teamer last season, and considered one of the best centers in the draft. For more on his performance, check out our profile of him here.