NFL Draft Rumors: Patriots Met With Little-Known Defensive Back Over FaceTime


Apr 22, 2020

The New England Patriots are plumbing the depths of this year’s pool of prospects as they make their final preparations for the 2020 NFL Draft.

The Patriots met earlier this week over FaceTime with BYU defensive back Dayan Ghanwoloku, his agent, Evan Brennan, told KSL Sports in Utah.

“Several defensive back coaches are FaceTiming him daily,” Brennan said on the “Cougar Tracks Podcast.” “The Patriots reached out to him yesterday via FaceTime. He is getting an avalanche of interest.”

Never heard of Ghanwoloku? You’re not alone. He was not invited to the NFL Scouting Combine, doesn’t have an draft profile and isn’t listed in Pro Football Focus’ comprehensive draft guide. The Athletic’s Dane Brugler has him ranked as this year’s 50th-best safety prospect.

Brennan himself said earlier this month he does not expect Ghanwoloku to be drafted.

“Although prospects aren’t great for guys not invited to the combine, especially this year, I have had 15 teams call me about Dayan in the last three days,” the agent told the Deseret News on April 9. “I don’t think he is going to get drafted, but he will be a highly sought-after PFA (priority free agent).”

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What might the Patriots see in this unheralded DB? Well, Ghanwoloku was a four-year starter in BYU’s secondary, playing both cornerback and safety. He tallied 207 tackles, seven interceptions and seven forced fumbles in 48 career games (43 starts) while also playing on special teams and scoring two offensive touchdowns on goal-line carries.

“Strong safety or nickel cornerback, those are the two spots (NFL teams) like me at,” Ghanwoloku told the Deseret News. “And then doing my thing on special teams, because that is the plus-one right there, the thing that will help me out and set me apart.”

BYU’s pro day was canceled by COVID-19, so Ghanwoloku’s testing numbers came from an unofficial personal workout. His times in the 40-yard dash (4.41 second) and three-cone drill (6.85 seconds) were impressive but must be viewed with a skeptical eye given the setting.

Ghanwoloku emigrated from Liberia when he was 5 years old and was raised in Utah.

As mentioned, Ghanwoloku probably is a late-round prospect at best, but Bill Belichick has shown a willingness to draft lesser-known or low-rated players in the past — especially defensive backs (Duron Harmon, Tavon Wilson, Jordan Richards).

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Thumbnail photo via Jeff Swinger/USA TODAY Sports Images
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