After spending a week coaching draft prospects at the East-West Shrine Bowl, the New England Patriots came away impressed with a pair of linebackers.
During Thursday night’s Shrine Bowl broadcast on NFL Network, analyst Bucky Brooks said Patriots coaches “couldn’t stop raving” about NC State’s Isaiah Moore.
“Isaiah Moore has been one of the stars of the week,” Brooks said after the ‘backer made an impressive third-down pass breakup. “The coaching staff couldn’t stop raving about him. … All week, it was about the leadership, the communication, how he took command of the huddle. He came away with rave reviews for his work this week.”
Measuring in at 6-foot-2, 234 pounds, Moore was a five-year collegiate starter, racking up 341 tackles and 43 1/2 tackles for loss for the Wolfpack. He also was a three-year captain, which surely endeared him to a New England staff that values proven leadership.
Later in the game, Brooks said the Patriots also “singled out” Utah linebacker Mohamoud Diabate “as a guy who has real value.” Slightly taller and lighter than Moore at 6-3, 229, Diabate is a versatile player known for his quickness and athleticism. He played three seasons at Florida before transferring to Utah for his senior year.
Patriots linebackers Ja’Whaun Bentley and Jahlani Tavai both are coming off strong seasons and are under contract for 2023, but that position group could see some turnover this offseason with Raekwon McMillan and Mack Wilson both set to hit free agency.
The Patriots also were “enamored” with Mississippi State edge rusher Tyrus Wheat and Ohio State defensive lineman Taron Vincent after coaching them in Shrine Bowl practices, according to a report earlier this week from Pro Football Network’s Tony Pauline.
The Patriots-coached West Team capped the week with a 12-3 win over the East at Allegiant Stadium.