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Sunday 7: Potential Patriots QB target feels ‘like a walk-on again’ due to lack of attention

Ryan Hannable
February 25, 2018 - 6:00 am

1. One of the quarterbacks connected to the Patriots of late has been Luke Falk out of Washington State. Coming out of high school, he didn’t get the attention he likely deserved. Falk went to Logan High School in Logan, Utah and even local colleges BYU and Utah weren’t interested. Florida State and Idaho offered him scholarships early in his high school career, but later withdrew them. Falk took a part-time job with a catering service and walked on at Washington State. According to his high school coach Mike Favero, after becoming the Pac-12 all-time passing leader during his collegiate career, he’s feeling like he did during his senior year of high school. “He is going through some of the same things now as the NFL draft approaches,” Favero said via phone Friday. “I think there are a lot of other guys receiving a lot more attention, the big name quarterbacks. I think that drives Luke, and I think at the end of the day Luke is a great fit as a NFL quarterback. He mentioned to me right after the Senior Bowl, which he did very well, he feels like a walk-on again because he’s not the marquee name. I think it was a unique analogy that he said he feels like a walk-on again.” Falk isn’t in many experts top-five rankings for quarterbacks and is projected to go anywhere from the second-to-fourth round, which is why he’s been connected to the Patriots.

2. The tight end position still remains a question mark for the Patriots and got even more complicated at the end of last week when it was reported Martellus Bennett is interested in playing next season. Many assumed he would retire like he talked about last year and the Patriots would save over $6 million against the cap. With Rob Gronkowski still not committing to playing, perhaps the Patriots will keep Bennett or Dwayne Allen on the roster in addition to going after another tight end in free agency. From this perspective, moving on from Bennett and getting Allen to re-do his contract seems like financially the best option for New England. 

3. With the Patriots re-signing Brandon Bolden on Saturday, it does raise the question how core special teamers is too many? Bill Belichick has always valued special teams more than most coaches, but with the Patriots lacking depth in the front-seven last year and being forced to have special teams players play more defense, maybe it’s worth changing the approach a little bit. Maybe the team should consider a potential roster spot for a core special teamer to now go to a dependable outside linebacker who is more known for making an impact on defense rather than on special teams.

4. It’s never too early to look ahead to the 2018 schedule and our first takeaway is it’s not going to be easy. Of the five AFC playoff teams besides themselves from 2017, the Patriots will play all five of them, including four of them on the road. In addition, the home schedule is much better (from a fans perspective) than in 2017 with games against the Colts, Packers, Vikings, Texans and Chiefs in addition to the AFC East.

5. The NFL combine will be this week in Indianapolis and a major theme is connecting players to teams based on interviews. When prospects sit down with the media, every player is asked who they have met with. Keep in mind, these meetings don’t mean as much as some may think. In fact, some teams (the Patriots) often tell prospects not to tell the media they have met with them. Bottom line, pro day workouts and the 30 allowed official visits mean a lot more than an interview at the combine.

6. Part of the NFL combine is coaches and executives holding formal press conferences. As expected, Belichick and Nick Caserio are not on the list of scheduled press conferences. They haven’t spoken at the event in several years, although Caserio has done a 1-on-1 with in the past. Matt Patricia is scheduled to speak Wednesday morning. Other notables are Colts head coach Frank Reich and GM Chris Ballard on Wednesday afternoon, as well as 49ers GM John Lynch and head coach Kyle Shanahan Thursday morning.

7. On-field workouts will be Friday-Monday with coverage on NFL Network. Running backs, offensive linemen and special teams will be Friday, quarterbacks, wide receivers and tight ends will be on Saturday, defensive linemen and linebackers on Sunday and it will wrap up with the defensive backs on Monday. Players will meet with the media the day before on-field workouts, so from a Patriots perspective Friday will be the big day with prospective quarterbacks speaking to the media.