Editor's note: The third in an occasional series on NFL draft prospects that would be a good fit for the Patriots. The NFL draft is April 25-27.
Name: Chase Thomas, LB, Stanford
Overview: Thomas is a 3-4 linebacker who has played a considerable amount of time with his hands in the grass as a pass rusher – a la Rob Ninkovich – but has also shifted inside on occasion, showing his versatility. No matter where he has played, he has been productive. The Stanford redshirt senior compiled 50.5 tackles for a loss in his tenure for the Cardinal, making him an enticing prospect. Like Jerod Mayo, Thomas has benefited from both a defensive scheme that is linebacker-friendly and instincts that have helped scatter his projections all over the map. Thomas can also thank a slow 40-yard dash (4.91) at the combine for what CBSSports has deemed a fourth-round projection. But prior to the combine, he was projected as being selected as high as the first round and was reportedly getting looks from the Patriots. He tallied 52 tackles last season, including 8.5 sacks. He led the Pac-12 with 17.5 tackles for a loss.
Workout results (combine)
40-yard dash: 4.91