Patriots Draft Trends: Athleticism Highly Valued At Receiver, Cornerback

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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:

QUARTERBACK
The Patriots typically value size over athleticism when drafting quarterbacks.

RUNNING BACK
The Patriots draft running backs with above-average agility and lateral quickness.

WIDE RECEIVER
The Patriots select receivers with above-average speed, agility, lateral quickness and leaping ability.

TIGHT END
The Patriots value speed, agility, lateral quickness and vertical leaping when drafting tight ends.

OFFENSIVE LINE
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.

DEFENSIVE END
The Patriots highly value explosiveness when drafting pass rushers.

DEFENSIVE TACKLE
The Patriots value length above all else when drafting defensive tackles.

LINEBACKER
The Patriots value size and length when selecting linebackers.

CORNERBACK
The Patriots draft cornerbacks with above-average speed, agility, strength and explosiveness.

SAFETY
The Patriots select safeies with above-average speed and vertical leaping ability.

Thumbnail photo via Erich Schlegel/USA TODAY Sports Images

Thumbnail photo via New England Patriots wide receiver Julian Edelman

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