Opening day countdowns are great. So are player profiles. Here at Musket Fire, we decided to combine them and create a Week 1 countdown-oriented, jersey number-dictated player profile series. Yesterday, we looked at No. 86 A.J. Derby, and a few days before him it was No. 87 Rob Gronkowski. Because today marks 85 days until the New England Patriots open 2015, we are profiling No. 85, defensive end turned tight end Jake Bequette.
Note that Bequette is pictured above wearing No. 92, his defensive end number. Now that he’s a tight end, Bequette has switched to No. 85.
For some time this spring, no one was quite sure what was going on with Bequette. He was listed as a defensive end on the roster, but during OTAs, he was wearing a grey offensive shirt, and whispers around Foxboro indicated he was changing his position from defensive end. Sure enough, Josh McDaniels opened up on the situation, and now the Patriots have a new tight end.
It may be difficult at first to wrap your brain around this, but it could actually work. At 6-foot-5, 265 pounds with deceiving quickness and a proven work ethic, the tools are there for Bequette to contour his skill set to the tight end position.
Bequette got one heck of a vote of confidence when the Patriots released veteran tight end Tim Wright last week. It would have been far easier for the Patriots to hang on to the proven commodity that Wright is and cut Bequette instead. Just ask Wright—the Patriots are serious about converting Bequette to a tight end.
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Now, it would still be pretty surprising to see Bequette in the lineup in Week 1. The depth chart at tight end is awfully crowded, but it’s not impossible that Bequette could bump out A.J. Derby and Fred Davis for the fourth roster spot behind Rob Gronkowski, Scott Chandler and Michael Hoomanawanui. After all, Derby has only one year of formal tight end experience, and Davis hasn’t played a snap since 2013.
Over at Pats Pulpit, Rich Hill compares Bequette to Owen Daniels, Chris Cooley, Ben Hartsock, Joel Dreessen, Jordan Cameron and Greg Olson.
You have to give Bequette some respect for doing this. It would have been easy for him to call it quits on a career as a pass rusher that had pretty much gone down the tubes, so for him to challenge himself like this is impressive.
Put Bequette on the list of lesser-known players that this writer will be rooting for in training camp.
In case you missed them, here are the profiles for No. 88 Scott Chandler, No. 90 Zach Moore, No. 91 Jamie Collins, No. 92 Malcom Brown, No. 93 Jabaal Sheard, No. 94 Chris jones and No. 95 Chandler Jones.
Check back on Musket Fire tomorrow morning as we celebrate 84 days until Patriots kick-off by profiling another Arkansas product, No. 84, promising wide receiver Brian Tyms.