Clemson DE Ricky Sapp, who projects as a 3-4 outside linebacker, recently had a private workout with the Patriots at Clemson along with fellow Clemson linebacker Kavell Connor. Sapp is a first round prospect who will likely be around when the Patriots pick at 22. Unlike other popular prospects for the Pats like Michigan’s Brandon Graham, Sapp has the typical size that the Patriots look for in an outside linebacker. He is 6’4″ and weighs 252 pounds. Here’s is what Sapp had to say about his workout with the Pats:
“Earlier this week two teams came down to Clemson to watch me work out. On Tuesday me and another teammate of mine, Kavell Conner (LB), worked out for the New England Patriots. The New England Patriots are a very private organization, our workout was private and extremely long. I started around 9 that morning and did not finish until 3 that afternoon.
But the good thing about all that was … I think they liked me even more after our private workout. I got great feedback from the coach that was there, which really motivated me!”
The Eagles also worked out Sapp and in comparison, his workout only lasted about 40 minutes. That’s not to say that the Patriots have more interest than the Eagles necessarily, but it is interesting to see how the Patriots operate. Not up on your knowledge of Ricky Sapp? Here’s what NFL.com’s Draft profile page has to say about Sapp:
- 40-yard Dash: 4.7 seconds
- Strengths: “Sapp has been a productive player during his career. Has the versatility to play defensive end in a 4-3 and outside linebacker in a 3-4. Is an extremely athletic front-seven defender who can get to the quarterback with the speed rush and is comfortable playing in space. Durable during his time in college. Plays with good instincts, including in coverage.”
- Weaknesses: “At this point, Sapp is undersized and only possesses average power to hold the point of attack when teams run at him. Does have the frame to add bulk. Needs to be more consistent with his hand use and must do a better job disengaging from blockers.”
The Patriots unquestionably have to add playmakers to the defense that can rush the passer. They have yet to add any free agents that fit that bill, and if that continues, the draft will be the only place the Pats have to turn to. There are players in the draft that could potentially help the Pats’ pass-rushing woes. Is Sapp the answer?