The New England Patriots do not currently have a pick within the first two rounds of the 2017 NFL Draft, but they do have 30 official visits with potential draft picks.
According to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, the Patriots used one of those visits on Florida cornerback Jalen “Teez” Tabor.
Tabor also met with the Patriots during the February NFL Scouting Combine. Bill Belichick was also in attendance at Florida’s pro day.
Tabor, who was once viewed as a first round pick, has slid on draft boards due to poor 40-yard dash performances at the NFL Combine (4.62 seconds) and Florida’s pro day (4.77 seconds). Tabor blamed his slow time due to a minor hamstring injury.
"“Teams have been shocked that I ran that slow, because they know I don’t play slow — they watch the film,” he explained last week to Rapoport. “It’s ridiculous. I just want to let everyone know what was going on.”"
Putting his testing numbers to the side, Tabor is known for his size (6 feet, 199 pounds) and quickness. In his time at Florida, he proved his ability to compete on jump balls and break up passes thrown his way. The junior hauled in eight interceptions and broke up 28 passes in 37 games.
Tabor plays much faster than his combine numbers would suggest. He does lack straight-away speed, but carries a brand of pure athleticism. His overall game has drawn comparisons to Patrick Peterson and Aqib Talib.
Another issue that could force Tabor to fall on draft day is his troubling track record.
In 2016, Tabor missed the season opener after being suspended for fighting with a teammate. The following year, declining a drug test landed him his second suspension. He released his anger tweeting out that the Florida athletic department “sucks.”
Another act by Tabor on twitter drew headlines around the college football world. He tweeted that college football is a “modern form of slavery.” The tweet was later deleted and an apology was issued.
His troubling background issues could make Tabor available at No. 72 when the Patriots select for the first time. A cornerback seems to be a need for New England, especially with the possibility of losing restricted free agent Malcolm Butler.