The New England Patriots, to make room for one former Hog has waived another former Razorback. A.J. Derby’s short experience in the NFL has been abbreviated at best, only able to participate once with the Patriots this offseason in preparation for the 2015-2016 season. The man who is the lucky dog in this situation is Jake Bequette.
It is the story of two players that changed positions to increase their chances in playing time.
Derby came to Arkansas as a junior college transfer quarterback in 2013 and saw playing time at the position when Brandon Allen was injured. Entering 2014 though, with more stability at the position, Derby was moved to tight end and was one of the favorite weapons of Allen during the Texas Bowl winning campaign.
Bequette’s story is somewhat the opposite. In high school at Little Rock Catholic played the tight end position, but was also a sought after defensive end. Razorback fans will remember Bequette’s bone crushing hit on Connor Shaw as one of the defining moments of his career. While the Patriots did draft Bequette in the 3rd round of the 2012 NFL Draft as a defensive end, the Patriots ended up with more depth than what they had planned.
In an effort to not waste a draft pick like Bequette’s the decision was made to move him to tight where he has battled to stay on the depth chart. Bequette is projected to be the fourth tight end on the chart NFL veterans Rob Gronkowski, Scott Chandler and Michael Hoomanawanui.
Bequette is not guaranteed a roster spot from that projected position though. Bequette could join Derby on the list of players that will be let go as the Patriots cut their roster size down to 53.