NFL DRAFT

Why Patriots fans should pay attention to the 3-cone drill at the combine

Trey Flowers at 2015 combine (Joe Robbins/Getty Images)

Predicting the Patriots’ draft approach can be a fool’s errand. But with the players set to start on-field workouts Friday at the combine, it's important to know that over the years, there's one drill that certainly stands out is the 3-cone drill, particularly when it comes to wide receivers and defensive backs.

It’s not the end-all when it comes to determining whether or not a player can succeed in the New England system. But it’s also not a complete coincidence that the Patriots have sought out guys who have starred in the 3-cone drill at the combine or their Pro Day over the last decade-plus, particularly more under-the-radar types like Julian Edelman and Deion Branch, who went on to have success in New England.