The New England Patriots, once pillars of consistency at the offensive line and tight end positions, saw their performance at both spots take a noticeable nosedive this season, and their postseason loss against the Titans proved they need an upgrade at those two positions.
New England has already gotten to work at the Senior Bowl trying to fill those holes, as Bill Belichick, director of player personnel Nick Caserio, secondary coach Steve Belichick, and linebackers coach Jerod Mayo were all in attendance in Mobile. They were especially focused on UConn tackle Matt Peart.
Peart, along with Houston's Josh Jones and Texas Tech's Terence Steele, was among the big winners of 1v1 drills, and he could easily be the next big project for Dante Scarnecchia that ends up booming given his agility, anchor ability, and technique. He is expected to go on Day 2 or Day 3 of the draft.
Earlier in the week, Senior Bowl Director Jim Nagy compared Peart to former Jets star D'Brickashaw Ferguson given his 36-3/8 inch arms.
The Patriots are also in the market for a Rob Gronkowski replacement, and Florida Atlantic tight end Harrison Bryant seems to have caught their eye. Bryant has a way to go as a blocker, but he won the Mackey Award as the nation's top tight end after piling up 1,004 receiving yards. He dominated 1v1s against linebackers, showing off rare quickness and ball skills for a tight end.
Watch for Bryant at No. 23.
The Patriots' right tackle spot saw a lot of regression this past season, and the tight end position was nonexistent. With the likes of Peart and Bryant in the fold, New England could get back to the winning ways that brought them championship after championship if they can get their hands on these guys and watch them pan out.