It’s no secret that the Patriots are going to be looking for defensive-line help in this week’s NFL draft. They struggled all season to replace Richard Seymour’s production at defensive end.
One player whose name keeps popping up in mock drafts as a possible successor to Seymour is Penn State’s Jared Odrick. Although many experts question whether or not he can fit into Bill Belichick’s 3-4 defense — he played defensive tackle in a 4-3 with the Nittany Lions — Odrick is confident he’d be able to make the transition.
“Yeah, I definitely could see myself playing in that system,” Odrick told the Boston Herald. “I think the thing people have a misconception about is that in a 3-4 defense, you’re just sitting there, eating up blocks. I just think football is football.
“There’s a lot of techniques you use in a 4-3 that you can use in a 3-4. There’s a lot of differences, but at the same time, it’s still football. I just think with my size and my skill set, I’ll have success.”
The 6-foot-5, 304-pound Odrick is heralded for his “long arms, his brute strength, his athleticism and his occupying of double teams,” according to the Herald’s Karen Guregian. The projected mid-to-late first-rounder was named the Big Ten defensive player of the year this past season after recording 43 tackles, including 11 for a loss, and a career-high seven sacks.
Odrick was able to meet Belichick in an interview leading up to the draft, and he thinks it went well.
“It was brief. I think he liked me,” Odrick told the paper. “But you just don’t know what to expect, good or bad. We’ll find out.”
Odrick has also met with the New York Jets, Dallas Cowboys, Cleveland Browns and New Orleans Saints.