FOXBORO, Mass. — The New England Patriots clearly agreed their biggest need entering the 2017 NFL Draft was at pass rusher.
Wise is another classic fit for the Patriots from a size and testing perspective. He’s 6-foot-5, 274 pounds and ran a 4.92-second 40-yard dash with a 1.70-second 10-yard split, 22 bench press reps of 225 pounds, a 33-inch vertical leap, 10-foot, 5-inch broad jump, 7.07-second three-cone drill and 4.36-second short shuttle. He has great length with 35 5/8-inch arms.
Wise split his time rushing from the left and right sides with the Razorbacks. He had 39 total pressures with 3.5 sacks, 11 QB hits and 23 hurries on 251 pass-rush snaps in 2016, according to Pro Football Focus. He was even more impressive as a run-stuffer, making 17 stops with just one missed tackle on 219 run snaps.
Wise joins former Arkansas teammate Trey Flowers on the Patriots’ defensive end depth chart, which also includes Rivers, Rob Ninkovich, Kony Ealy and Geneo Grissom.
While Rivers is more of an edge rusher, Wise, like Flowers, can also rush from the inside. Wise had eight sacks, 12 QB hits and 21 hurries on just 259 pass-rush snaps as a junior in 2015. Wise has the length to play five-technique defensive end if he added some weight to his 274-pound frame.
PFF graded Wise positively as both a pass rusher and run defender in both 2015 and 2016. He’ll likely compete with Grissom for snaps in 2017. The Patriots like to rotate defensive ends, so Wise could enter into that rotation with an impressive training camp and preseason. Both Ninkovich and Ealy are free agents after the 2017 season, so taking Wise is likely done as much with an eye toward the future as it is trying to make the 2017 team better.
Wise is the third Arkansas pass rusher the Patriots have drafted since 2012. They took Jake Bequette in the third round of the 2012 NFL Draft and Flowers in the fourth round in 2015. This is the second time the Patriots have double dipped at pass rusher in the last three years. They took Grissom and Flowers in the third and fourth round, respectively, in 2015.
Thumbnail photo via Kim Klement/USA TODAY Sports Images
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