Why Ja’Lynn Polk’s skills make him a good fit for Patriots QB Drake Maye – NBC Sports Boston

The New England Patriots were in dire need of talent at wide receiver this offseason, and they addressed that weakness early in the 2024 NFL Draft by drafting Washington wide receiver Ja’Lynn Polk in the second round. Selecting.

Polk was the No. 2 wideout in a high-powered Huskies offense last season. He posted career highs of 69 receptions, 1,159 yards and nine touchdowns in 15 games for a Washington team that reached the College Football Playoff National Championship Game.

NBC Sports analyst Connor Rogers recently joined the Next Pats podcast with Phil Perry to discuss what Polk brings to the Patriots and how he fits with starting quarterback Drake Maye.

“(Polk was) the No. 5 wide receiver for me in a loaded class and someone that I knew about two weeks before the draft and that New England took in the second round because I think they saw that his abilities were a little bit fit what they wanted to do,” said Rogers. “Now with Polk, it’s so funny how overlooked this class is because he’s not the biggest man in the world, but he’s big enough. He doesn’t just play slots. He’s not the fastest man in the world, but he has plenty of speed.

“But a lot of things with Polk, in an age where we’re constantly trying to quantify things and incorporate analysis into our process, and there’s plenty of good analysis about Polk. But a lot of things with Polk make him such a great prospect that you can’t quantify, and that’s the determination and the will to go across the middle of the field and make plays that a lot of guys won’t do.

“They just don’t have that in them. The DNA, the concentration, some of the catches he made, it’s just pure talent, the concentration of catching the football. It’s one of the weird things I’ve seen lately. seen in scouting.” A few years is the devaluation of finishing plays. And it amazes me because if you can’t finish plays consistently, you’re never going to be a consistent NFL pass catcher.

“And Polk is such a natural pass-catcher with great concentration and great body control. I think the track has made some big strides. He comes from an offense coached by Ryan Grubb, who is now the offensive coordinator in Seattle. where these receivers had a lot to do, and a lot was put on their plate, whether it was playing inside and outside, working vertical concepts, working over the middle of the field, setting them up for run-after-catch opportunities.”

Pass catching isn’t Polk’s only exciting talent. He excels at several other facets of the position, including blocking.

“And here’s a little bonus about Polk. I thought he was the best run-blocking wide receiver in the draft, just pound-for-pound power,” Rogers said. “It’s phenomenal; they used him in motion and let him go right through the A and B gaps and take on linebackers. I mean, that says something about the player’s DNA.”

“And that’s the other thing, the DNA of the player. One of my favorite players that I talked to at the combine, he was absolutely loved by everyone in that Washington program. You never wonder who was the hardest worker in the wide recipient.” Space is when Polk is there, because it will be him. He fits in so well for the future, with Drake Maye under center – a midfielder with a man who is constantly working between the numbers and making difficult plays.

“I’m glad Polk wasn’t ultimately overlooked by the NFL, but it felt like he wasn’t appreciated enough within the scouting community during this process.

Also in this episode:

  • Phil shares his three ‘encouraging’ and three ‘keep an eye on that’ observations from the Patriots’ rookie camp
  • Connor Rogers Joins Phil to Explain Why Drake Maye Ranked as His Second Best QB This Year
  • Connor explains why Ja’Lynn Polk’s intangibles make him a great player for New England
  • How concerning is the team’s selection of Caedan Wallace?
  • Connor shares his draft grades for the rest of the AFC East
Why Patriots Fans Will Love Ja'Lynn Polk |  The next Pats podcast