Patriots

Morning sports update: Mel Kiper Jr. projects the Patriots will take a linebacker in the first round of the NFL draft

"The Patriots lost linebackers Kyle Van Noy, Jamie Collins and Elandon Roberts in free agency, so Baun fills a need."

Wisconsin's Zack Baun during the first half of the Senior Bowl college football game Saturday, Jan. 25, 2020. AP Photo/Butch Dill

On Monday, Bill Belichick spoke to reporters for the first time since Tom Brady left the Patriots for the Buccaneers in free agency.

Though Belichick issued a statement following Brady’s departure, he admitted that it was “impossible” to encapsulate Brady’s full contribution to the team in such a way. That said, Belichick didn’t go much deeper.

“I think that’s water under the bridge,” Belichick said about whether the Patriots are interested in bringing Brady back. “We’re really focused on this season.”

Mel Kiper projects a linebacker to the Patriots: With the NFL draft edging closer and closer — the remote draft will begin on Thursday, April 23 — experts continue their attempts to project how it will play out.

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Mel Kiper Jr., ESPN’s long-running NFL draft analyst, released his “Mock Draft 4.0” on Tuesday morning. In it, he has the Patriots selecting Zack Baun, a Wisconsin linebacker with the 23rd pick.

“It’s really tough to predict what Bill Belichick is going to do in a draft, but we know that he likes versatile front-seven pieces,” Kiper wrote. “That’s Baun, who broke out for the Badgers last season with 12.5 sacks and 19.5 total tackles for loss. The Patriots lost linebackers Kyle Van Noy, Jamie Collins and Elandon Roberts in free agency, so Baun fills a need. Since it appears New England is happy with Jarrett Stidham and Brian Hoyer at quarterback, I’ll stay away from that position.”

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Trivia: Can you name the seven Red Sox pitchers in team history who have struck out at least 15 batters in a single game?

(Answer at the bottom).

Hint: Their initials are RC, JL, BM, MM, PM, CS, SJW.

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Zdeno Chara on the “Boston Wall”:

On this day: In 1967, Red Sox rookie pitcher Billy Rohr — pitching at Yankee Stadium in his Major League debut — came within a strike of throwing a no-hitter against the Yankees. The bid was broken up by base hit from Elston Howard, but only after Carl Yastrzemski made one of the greatest catches in team history.

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It was a quick preview of the greatness that was to come that season from Yastrzemski.

Daily highlight: Eagles kicker Jake Elliott has mastered his home trick shots.

Trivia answer: Roger Clemens, Jon Lester, Bill Monbouquette, Mickey McDermott, Pedro Martinez, Chris Sale, Smokey Joe Wood.

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