Patriots

4 things to know about Patriots draft pick Joshuah Bledsoe

There's a solid reason why there's an "h" at the end of his first name.

Joshuah Bledsoe joins the Patriots after spending his college career with Missouri. AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis

A Bledsoe is coming to New England.

No, it isn’t Drew Bledsoe making a return, but the Patriots did add Joshuah Bledsoe, a safety out of Missouri, with one of their sixth-round picks.

Here are four things to know about Joshuah Bledsoe.

He played against new Patriots quarterback Mac Jones, and has high praise for him.

Bledsoe is familiar with the Patriots’ first-round pick.

This past season, Bledsoe’s Missouri Tigers went up against Jones’s Crimson Tide. Both put up solid numbers in what would be a 38-19 win for the Crimson Tide. Jones had 249 passing yards and two touchdowns while Bledsoe had three tackles, one of which was for a loss, and a pass defended.

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“He’s real poised,” Bledsoe told reporters when recalling the regular-season matchup. “He has a good arm and he makes good decisions distributing the ball, so I’m glad I get to team up with him. I’m glad he’s on the opposite side of the ball. It’s going to be fun in practice going against him.”

Bledsoe and Jones were on the same team during this year’s Senior Bowl, allowing Bledsoe to get to know Jones even more.

“At the quarterback position, you’ve got to be poised. You’ve got to have that kind of calm demeanor of playing that position and I feel like he has all the right tools and the right mindset,” Bledsoe said. “He’s just a good fit for the position. I’m glad he’s in New England with me. We’re going to go have fun. We’re going to turn New England up.”

There’s a reason why there’s an “h” at the end of his name.

When Joshuah Bledsoe’s mom, Jamaile, was thinking of names for her son, she said the names out loud to hear if the name sounded well for a potential star athlete.

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Going through that practice, she liked the name “Josh.” There was one issue though. Joshua is six letters long, and everyone else in the family had first names that were seven letters long. She found a quick fix though, and added an “h” to her son’s name.

“I don’t have to say it anymore,” Jamaile told the Missourian, “because now I can hear the guys on ESPN say it for me.”

Bledsoe was originally a quarterback, and didn’t like his switch to safety.

During the process of picking Joshuah’s name, Jamaile envisioned her son would be a quarterback. We know that the last name Bledsoe works for a quarterback, and Joshuah Bledsoe believed his first name would work, too.

Prior to his high school days, Bledsoe played quarterback. However, once he began playing football for his high school’s freshman team, his coach had something different in mind. Due to his athleticism, Bledsoe’s coach made him switch from quarterback to defensive back.

“I was mad,” Bledsoe told the Missourian. “I’d been playing quarterback all my life.”

It took some time for Bledsoe to learn his new position. In the same interview, a story was shared of when Bledsoe allowed a receiver to get by him in a high school game for a touchdown. After the play, Bledsoe laid on the ground for several minutes and was upset at himself.

“And he never got beat deep again,” his coach said.

His draft profile suggests he could be better in coverage.

If a player falls to the sixth round of the draft, there’s likely at least a reason why.

NFL.com draft analyst Lance Zierlein wrote in Bledsoe’s draft profile that he has “a lack of desired agility in coverage” and “his coverage limitations and lack of traits are concerns.”

Zierlein did compliment Bledsoe’s strength and awareness, as he had 41 tackles and an interception this past season. He also had a team-high six pass breakups.

“I’m a real exciting player to watch,” Bledsoe said of his game. “When you see me on the field, I’m doing everything whether it’s special teams or doing what I can on defense. I’m out there making plays and it’s going to be fun to watch. My brand of football is just fun to watch, it’s exciting to watch.”

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