Belichick 'Volunteers' his insight

February, 21, 2014
Feb 21
With the primary goal of the NFL combine to learn more about the prospects in the draft, let's use Bill Belichick's comments from Thursday to do just that.

"It was interesting to see, really, almost the entire Tennessee offensive line there," he said. "That was pretty unusual to see that many guys from one school in that group."

It's a group that Alabama coach Nick Saban, a Belichick confidant, felt was probably the best his team faced in 2013.

Tennessee has had a nice little run along the offensive line, as guard Dallas Thomas was a prospect who had interested the Patriots last year. Had Thomas not been selected by the Miami Dolphins in the third round (77th overall), he very well could have landed in New England, which had the 83rd and 91st picks in that round.

Once again, the Patriots will consider dipping into the Volunteers pool of o-line talent, and here's a bit more on each Volunteers offensive lineman in the draft:

LT Antonio "Tiny" Richardson -- Listed at 6-foot-6 and 330 pounds, he is part of the reason why the overall tackle class is considered so deep. Entering the draft after his junior season, he projects as a second-round pick.

LG Alex Bullard -- As noted by Belichick, Bullard (6-3, 310) was not invited to the combine but easily could have been. He transferred to Tennessee from Notre Dame in 2011.

C James Stone -- At 6-foot-3 and 307 pounds, Stone is considered an intelligent player who has "protoypical height with below average bulk." He snaps with his left hand, which is a bit different from the norm, and is rated the No. 5 center by ESPN's Scouts Inc.

RG Zach Fulton -- A bigger prospect at 6-foot-4 and 324 pounds, he was a team leader at Tennessee. ESPN's Scouts Inc. rates him 14th at the position.

RT Ja’Wuan James -- At 6-foot-6 and 315 pounds, he started every game of his four-year college career. He enters the draft after his senior season and projects as a second-round pick.

Mike Reiss

ESPN New England Patriots reporter



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