The New England Patriots only took one defensive player in the 2024 NFL Draft.

He might be able to serve in multiple roles, though.

Marcellas Dial was selected with the No. 180 pick Saturday, joining the Patriots after a standout career at the University of South Carolina. He was asked to describe his game in a media call shortly after being selected, and a few things stuck out.

“I’m a sticky corner in coverage. I’m able to run, compete and play with any receiver, any body type,” Dial said. “I’m very good at attacking whenever the ball is in the air. I can make plays on the ball. I know there’s bits and parts to my game to get better at, but that’s where I’m going to come in, work and get better.”

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If you take out the very first sentence in that response, Dial sounds a lot like someone who will make his name on special teams, and maybe even at safety.

The Patriots notoriously like to use their defensive backs in a myriad of ways, and the guy who played the do-it-all role in recent seasons — Myles Bryant — finally departed after being the subject of New England fans’ ire over the last several seasons. Dial, if he’s able to make the roster, might just help fill that role.

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Dial stands at 6-feet, 190 pounds and ran a 4.46 forty-yard dash at the 2024 NFL Scouting Combine. He’s a freak athlete, and in trying to crack New England’s roster, his best shot might come as a depth option behind not only Kyle Dugger, but Jonathan Jones and Alex Austin. He’ll play on the outside, but might be at his best working down hill and attacking receivers. If he does get one-on-one reps, the Patriots might try him on tight ends due to his size.

It’s an intriguing makeup, and given their history at molding athletes into role-specific players, the Patriots might have found a future contributor in Dial.

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Featured image via Kirby Lee/USA TODAY Sports Images