NEPD Editor: James Christensen
Bill Belichick has continued his strong Day 3 drafting habits, filling in roster holes with talented players with loads of upside. The Patriots picked one of my favorite players in the whole 2015 NFL Draft, Arkansas tight end AJ Derby.
Derby originally went to the University of Iowa as a quarterback. He briefly converted to outside linebacker and played some special teams before transferring to Arkansas where he converted to tight end.
At 6’4″ and 255 pounds, Derby has impressive 4.69 speed. He seems to enjoy taking and dishing out punishment after the catch and flashes above-average hands in the passing game. Derby projects best as a “Move” or “F” tight end similar to Tim Wright.
Derby is a work in progress in the blocking game, but he has the functional strength and temperament to get the job done. Adding polish to his pass-routes will also be a priority this summer.