Maryland only had one player taken during the NFL draft in April, but just like last season, that doesn’t mean their former player’s chances of playing professionally end there.
According to a tweet from Jason La Canfora, the New England Patriots have taken interest in two former Terps:
This marks the second time in as many offseasons that the Patriots have taken an interest in some Maryland boys. Last year, it was Joe Vellano who ended up playing a solid role for the Patriots when Vince Wilfork went down. This year, it looks like Drakeford and Hartsfield have a chance to fill in on a Pats roster that always finds utility in players.
Hartsfield, in particular, has a very good opportunity to crack an NFL roster. A cut block from a fullback rendered him helpless for all of last year, but Hartsfield is 100% again and is a tackling machine. During his time at Maryland, he finished up tenth All-Time in tackles during his career with 381. Hartsfield looks the part at 6’2, 240 lbs, and on a team that needs all the defensive help they can get, it’s worth keeping an eye on.
Meanwhile, Drakeford, who spent some time with the Kansas City Chiefs, New York Giants, and Indianapolis Colts last year, will still get another opportunity to prove his worth. Drakeford is more of a tweener than Hartsfield, but is an adept pass rusher who could provide some service in specific packages. Drakeford finished up at Maryland with 122 total tackles and five forced fumbles.