One name that keeps popping up over and over to the Patriots in various mock drafts is Penn State linebacker Micah Parsons and for good reason, the rangy linebacker has plus-size inside and plays with the kind of hard-nosed anticipation that would be a great fit for New England's defensive scheme. However, it might be a lofty hope that Parsons will fall all the way to 15th and after his performance at Thursday's Pro Day, it might even be a long shot.
Parsons lit up the workout at Penn State, running a reported 4.39 40-yard dash while checking in just over 6'3" and 246 pounds. Parsons has rare speed for his size and that's what puts him so firmly on the Patriots' radar. Traditionally ones to prefer bigger linebackers, the Patriots had usually shied away from the smaller-but-faster linebackers but Parsons brings the best of both worlds and that's why he could make a lot of sense.
Though there are some off-field issues to navigate with Parsons, he would immediately upgrade the speed of the Patriots defense on the second level. With a remade defensive front, there's plenty of big bodies to occupy blockers, presenting opportunities for a player with Parsons' speed to make plays all over the field.
Parson's impressive performance should continue to elevate his draft status, but after a similar performance by athletic freak Jaycee Horn yesterday at South Caroina's Pro Day, not all of these great fits will be gone by the time the Patriots select. It's hard to know exactly how the board will fall, but quality Pro Day performances like the ones we're seeing are a good sign that the Patriots are going to be able to get an impact player when their turn comes up.
Ole Miss receiver makes some noise
Parsons wasn't the only one to light it up at his Pro Day today, with Ole Miss receiver Elijah Moore turning in a 4.34 40 of his own. Moore is an intriguing Day Two prospect who projects as an explosive slot weapon. His 4.34 should raise his status but the Patriots should get at least one shot at drafting him if they like him.
It's another solid draft class with players like Moore, who might not have the length to be an every-down outside receiver, but knows how to get open and has the speed to leave defenders in the dust. Another example is Western Michigan's D'Wayne Eskridge who ran a 4.38 at his Pro Day today as well, or the previously spotlighted Amon-Ra St. Brown.
There are some good, tough and especially fast receivers available this year after the first round and many could really help the New England offense.