In each of the 10 weekdays leading up to the NFL draft, ESPNBoston.com will identify one player who projects as a solid fit for the Patriots at various points of the draft. Read all of the profiles.
Player: Daniel Te'o-Nesheim
Position: Defensive end/outside linebacker
Listed height/weight: 6-foot-3½, 263 pounds
Scouts Inc. rank: No. 21 at position (scouting report)
Draft projection: Middle rounds.
Why he’s on our list: The Patriots recently hosted him on a pre-draft visit at Gillette Stadium, which shows that he’s still on their radar this late in the process. One of the Patriots’ top needs is boosting their pass rush. Te’o-Nesheim, who is considered a high-effort player, set Washington’s all-time sack record for a career, with 30.
Recommended link: The Seattle Post-Intelligencer details the pre-college part of Te'o-Nesheim’s football journey, explaining how he wound up attending Hawaii Prep, and how his father – who died suddenly when Te’o-Nesheim was 14 – taught him to play football.
Key stat: Started all 49 games in which he played at Washington.
Workout stat: Caught the attention of NFL clubs with a strong combine performance, which included a 37-inch vertical leap.
Steve Muench of Scouts Inc.: “Te’o-Nesheim doesn’t show great quickness or closing speed on film, so he doesn’t have a great deal of upside. However, he is a blue-collar player who works from the snap until the whistle and makes the most of his natural ability. He is capable of developing into an effective reserve defensive end for a base four-man front or rush linebacker for a base three-man front.”