FOXBORO, Mass. — The New England Patriots scooped up a speedy, undersized linebacker with their first pick in the sixth round.
The Patriots selected Mississippi State’s Matthew Wells with the 178th overall pick in the 2015 NFL Draft. Wells ran a 4.43-second 40-yard dash at his pro day at 6-foot-2, 222 pounds. He ran a 7.10-second 3-cone drill, 4.26-second short shuttle, benched 15 reps, recorded a 35.5-inch vertical leap and broad jumped 9 feet, 10 inches.
Wells started 26 games over the last two years with Bulldogs. He recorded 165 tackles, 22 tackles for loss and six sacks in four years at Mississippi State. He also had an interception, 14 passes defended and three forced fumbles.
Wells played at Mississippi State with current Patriots linebacker Deontae Skinner. Wells could project at weak-side linebacker or special teams with the Patriots.
Wells was targeted 43 times in coverage last season, according to Pro Football Focus. He allowed 21 catches for 212 yards and no touchdowns for a 63.3 passer rating. He rushed the passer 73 times and recorded 16 total pressures.
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