Nick Caserio's role with Patriots front and center at NFL combine

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- Shortly after the New England Patriots signed director of player personnel Nick Caserio through the 2020 season, Bill Belichick paid him a high compliment.

“He’s done a great job for us for a long time in a number of different roles,” Belichick told WBZ-FM 98.5 The Sports Hub in 2014. “He probably continues to do as much, probably more than, any other person in his position in the National Football League. He contributes in a lot of different ways and I’m glad we have him. I need him.”

With the NFL combine continuing Thursday in Indianapolis, Caserio’s contributions to the team are once again in the spotlight.

Part of what makes the 40-year-old one of the most unique pieces in the NFL is that he is part personnel man, part coach, often taking active parts in practices. In 2007, he served as the team’s wide-receivers coach after spending the prior three seasons as director of pro personnel. He is set to begin his 16th season with the franchise and he's been director of player personnel since 2008, overseeing both pro and college personnel.

Caserio spent a few minutes chatting with radio play-by-play man Bob Socci on Patriots.com, and noted the influx of nearly 100 underclassmen as one of the defining characteristics of the NFL draft.

“They’re a big part of the population and when you get here, this is really your first time to have an opportunity to spend with those prospects,” Caserio said.