NFL Scouting Combine drills began Friday, and the New England Patriots, like all 32 NFL teams, are paying close attention.
Patriots head coach Bill Belichick spoke out last season about draft prospects training specially for the combine drills, but that doesn’t mean his team undervalues those metrics. The Patriots have clear patterns when it comes to pre-draft testing numbers at each position.
Click each position to find out what NESN.com learned after studying 16 years worth of Belichick drafts:
The Patriots typically value size over athleticism when drafting quarterbacks.
The Patriots draft running backs with above-average agility and lateral quickness.
The Patriots select receivers with above-average speed, agility, lateral quickness and leaping ability.
The Patriots value speed, agility, lateral quickness and vertical leaping when drafting tight ends.
The Patriots draft offensive tackles with above-average vertical leap and broad jump measurements. They select guards and centers with above-average agility and lateral quickness.
The Patriots highly value explosiveness when drafting pass rushers.
The Patriots value length above all else when drafting defensive tackles.
The Patriots value size and length when selecting linebackers.
The Patriots draft cornerbacks with above-average speed, agility, strength and explosiveness.
The Patriots select safeies with above-average speed and vertical leaping ability.
Thumbnail photo via Erich Schlegel/USA TODAY Sports Images