The wide receiver position is a minor need for the New England Patriots. The Patriots most likely will not select a receiver in the first few rounds, they have greater needs that need to be addressed. That does not mean they will not find high value in late round selections. The Patriots have had a tendency to look at smaller receivers that can shake bigger defenders
When looking at a late round prospect it is essential that a player is able to contribute on special teams right away. This year possesses a deep receiver class, which is why the Patriots do not need to extend themselves to get a receiver early. They can wait for the receiver that they want, at the draft position that they want.
I was lucky enough to be able to interview this talented draft hopeful, and his answers will supplement this draft profile. He is a great kid that opened eyes at his pro day. He was a local prospect playing at Dean College in Franklin, MA before transferring to FAU for his final season.
It is very important to me that I let Lucky's quotes dominate the majority of this article, because this is his time to shine, and the spotlight should be on him.
Weight: 179 lbs
Pro Day Results:
40 yard dash: 4.39
20 yard split: 2.54
10 yard split: 1.54
Bench press: 20 reps at 225 lbs
Vertical Leap: 36"
Broad Jump: 121"
3-Cone Drill: 6.89
Who in the NFL do you compare your game to?
"Have to say Desean Jackson . Smaller quick twitch guy who can also kill you in the return game!"
His analysis of comparing his game to Desean Jackson is accurate, he is not someone that can just play in the slot. He can move outside and be a vertical threat. While being able to hurt you on the offensive side of the ball, he can tear you apart in the return game if you sleep on his speed.
How do you feel the NFLPA game helped you?
"It helped because I wasn't just playing slot WR, I did a lot of outside work was able to show scouts you can put me anywhere"
This was huge for him to be able to show NFL teams. As a 5'9" receiver it is easy to label him as a slot receiver, but he has the potential to be so much more then that if he can get in with the right coaching group.
What was it like transitioning from Dean College to FAU? And do you think that will help you transition from college to NFL?
"The transition from Dean to FAU was a huge stepping stone in my career. Coming from a smaller school where I was familiar with the offense, the team, and the competition to an unknown place was very challenging. I didn't know what I was up against at FAU, or how much more fierce the competition would be. This is very similar to the feelings I'm dealing with now. I'm the under dog. My time at FAU was short- and now, as I transition into the professional league, that feeling resides. Competition is much more fierce, the tempo of the game will be much faster than what I've been playing with; it's definitely going to be a challenge. But I've never accepted defeat, and I'm confident that I can compete at the next level!This will definitely help me as I transition into the NFL, because I know what it is like to be the underdog; to be underestimated, and to work for what I want. My mentality has not changed since the day I left Dean College; a hungry dog is a dangerous dog. And I'm starving"
This type of statement from an underdog receiver shows the fight that is inside of him, and is the reason why he is opening eyes. He is not afraid, and will not back down from the competition that the NFL will bring. He surely has the confidence that NFL scouts are looking for, and he impresses in an interview, as well as on the field.
What area of your game needs the most work?
"The area that I need to work hardest on is my concentration. Often times, I feel like every play needs to be a BIG play. And I'll have drops from already looking up field, one more would be more patient with my routes just because I beat a defender doesn't mean I need to break off my right early NFL is big on timing!"
From watching his film, he does have a tendency to take his eye of the ball and turn up field too quick. Trying to turn every play into a big play can cause him to drop some balls that would move the chains. Knowing that this is a problem means that he can fix it. Once he fixes it, and his hands are more reliable his game will be more well rounded.
He will most likely be drafted anywhere between the 5th-7th round. A team may look to roll the dice on him with his game changing speed, and his ability to make people miss in the open field. If he can make an impact on special teams he has a great chance to make a roster.
Will the Patriots draft him?
If the Patriots keep with their trend of wanting to attack defenses with smaller, quicker receivers then they should give Whitehead a look. They have been looking to get someone for their return game to get Edelman out of that role, and Lucky could be the perfect candidate for this role. Don't anticipate his name being called on day 1 or 2, but he could be a valuable day 3 asset.
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