The New England Patriots are doing their homework on an intriguing tight end prospect ahead of the 2021 NFL Draft.
Miami tight end Brevin Jordan told The Draft Network’s Justin Melo that the Patriots are one of a handful of teams he has “consistently heard from” during the pre-draft process.
The Patriots have ranked last in the NFL in receptions by tight ends in each of the last two seasons, and Jordan was an explosive pass-catcher for the Hurricanes, catching 38 passes for 576 yards and seven touchdowns in eight games last season.
Listed at 6-foot-3, 245 pounds, he’s smaller than most New England tight ends but boasts above-average speed and route-running ability for his position. Jordan also is a pain to bring down in the open field, ranking tied for sixth among FBS tight ends in yards after catch per reception (9.3) and tied for fourth in forced missed tackles (nine), per Pro Football Focus.
The question with a “move” tight end like Jordan is whether he’d be able to operate in an offense like the Patriots’ that frequently uses its tight ends as in-line blockers.
Jordan lined up in-line on just 23.3 percent of his snaps last season, per PFF, and nearly all of his receptions came from slot, wide or wing alignments. He was a willing and capable blocker when asked to do so but will need to refine his technique to succeed against bigger, stronger NFL edge rushers.
Jordan is regarded as a likely Day 2 pick. The Patriots used two such selections on tight ends last year, trading up to draft Devin Asiasi and Dalton Keene in the third round.
New England currently has four tight ends under contract for the 2021 season: Asiasi, Keene, Ryan Izzo and Matt LaCosse, who opted out of the 2020 campaign due to COVID-19 concerns.