In response to JohnHannahrulz's comment:
If the Pats use a 3-4 alignment I'd like to see who goes where Chandler (elephant) and Hightower and Collins included. Or who gets used in the sub packages. Obviously different LBs bring different skills sets and some need to be coached up a little.
That is an intereting question -- but I think if you watch what NE did with him the answer is tht BB views him as an outside linebacker in whatever formation they run. I think if NE was in a 34 alignment more often Hightower might play inside a bit more, but judging from what he did last season in 43, Nickel, 34 etc, he would be on the edge.
As it stands, NE used him outside last season most often, and did so from the 43 over/under most often or 33 nickel, their #1 and #2 sets.
In the 43 Over/Under they had him outside and inside, but most often he was outside over the DE, not outside over a tackle/end gap the way Mayo lines up in the 43.
There were some reps that they used him inside over one of the two tackles where Mayo usually lines up, but not many.
When they lined up in 34 they used him outside almost exclusively (BB likes Mayo and Spikes between the tackles). And in 33 Nickel alignments he was outside. And in their exotic lineups 6-2 sometimes, they would line him up outside.
There is the chance they like him as a replacement for Spikes in the long run, which wquld jibe with the Collins selection, who could just play that flex role that Nink has been playing.
The interesting bit about that is that Bama used him like NE uses Spikes.... he was almost always an MLB in the 43 so no matter what way they shifted he was in the trash.
That said I think BB probably has more in store for this kid.