After a disappointing 2022 campaign, the Patriots are right back at it for the off-season as they’ll be coaching out at the 2023 East-West Shrine Bowl coming up on February 2nd in Las Vegas.
New England brought in six players from last year’s Shine Bowl to Foxboro: Tyquan Thornton, Jack Jones, Pierre Strong, Sam Roberts, LaBryan Ray, and De’Eriq King – so it’s certainly a pool that they frequent in.
Now that they’ll have a full week with the “West” roster – here’s a look at five guys from the offense to keep an eye on as potential future Patriots:
Zay Flowers – WR, Boston College
An Eagles legend, Zay Flowers dominated the ACC in 2022 hauling in 78 passes for 1,077 yards and 12 TDs during his senior season at BC. He showed elite route running, ball tracking, and speed during his four years in Chestnut Hill, and projects as a fringe late-first, early-second round pick in the 2023 NFL Draft.
— Mike Kadlick (@mikekadlick) January 19, 2023
He is, however, just 5-foot-10, and his profile seems rather redundant to New England’s WR room. We’ll see how they feel about him after their week in Vegas. He could be a great addition should they move on from Jakobi Meyers.
Jake Bobo – WR, UCLA
A local kid from Concord, MA, Jake Bobo played high school ball at the Belmont Hill School before playing collegiately at Duke from 2018-2021 and then transferring to UCLA for his redshirt senior season.
With his 6’5″, 215 lb frame, Bobo had a career season for the Bruins hauling in 57 balls for 817 yards and 7 TD’s, and showed off some incredible footwork and playmaking ability that make him a sleeper prospect in this 2023 class. Depending on the decision the Patriots make at offensive coordinator/wide receivers coach, they could have some fun with Bobo at the Shrine Bowl and develop quite the itch to bring him to Foxboro.
Luke Schoonmaker – TE, Michigan
Although the Patriots have the most expensive tight end room in the NFL, they still need some help at the position. It’s unlikely they’ll spend a premier pick on one at the NFL Draft, but a day-two pick would make sense.
Luke Schoonmaker was Third-Team All-Big Ten in 2022 and helped JJ McCarthy lead the Wolverines to the College Football Playoff. He’s a project at the position but could be a perfect pick for New England later on in the draft.
Jaxson Kirkland – T, Washington
Jaxson Kirkland was a projected first-round pick in 2022 before deciding to return to Washington for his senior season. He went on to split time at guard this year for the Huskies after their line deteriorated, and heads into the Shrine Bowl with plenty for the Patriots to work with.
Kirkland’s 6’7″, 310-pound build will certainly be intriguing for New England as offensive line is arguably their greatest positional need heading into 2023. He allowed zero sacks and just five QB hurries during his final season.
Jack Colletto – TE/FB, Oregon State
Jack Colletto, aka “The Jackhammer” is truly a jack of all trades. Listed as a TE/FB at the Shrine Bowl, the redshirt senior also played linebacker for the Beavers and won the Paul Hornung Award in 2022, given to college football’s most versatile player.
Some previous Hornung Award winners? Jabrill Peppers (2016), Lynn Bowden (2019), and Marcus Jones (2021). Colletto screams “future Patriot”.
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