Next Pats: Is this Alabama WR the 'perfect' pick for the Patriots?

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  • New England Patriots
    New England Patriots
    LiveTodayTomorrowvs--|
  • Mike Rodak
    American-football player (1917-1980)

Next Pats: Is this Alabama WR the 'perfect' pick for the Pats? originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston

Bill Belichick's affinity for Alabama talent is well-documented. The New England Patriots head coach has loaded up on Crimson Tide players over the years, including in the 2021 NFL Draft when he selected his new franchise quarterback Mac Jones and defensive tackle Christian Barmore.

More potential Patriots fits will be showcased on Monday when Alabama takes on Georgia in the College Football Playoff National Championship. So, which players should Pats fans keep a close eye on when the two SEC powerhouses face off?

Cassel: Who is a better matchup for the Patriots come playoff time?

Phil Perry asked AL.com's Mike Rodak that question on a new episode of the Patriots Talk Podcast.

Next Pats Podcast: Is the next Patriots WR playing in the Alabama-Georgia National Title Game? | Listen & Follow | Watch on YouTube

"There's definitely a couple guys. I'd say later in the draft if he comes out this year ... Slade Bolden, a wide receiver," Rodak said. "You talk about the prototypical Patriots slot receiver, he's probably fitting that mold and seems to be this sort of makeup fit that might fit New England. But that's more of a later-round pick. In terms of the perfect Patriot, I'd probably put him in that category more than anybody else, especially with Bill O'Brien having run the Alabama offense this year."

Bolden has caught 35 passes for 364 yards and three touchdowns in 14 games.

Rodak adds two more potential fits for the Patriots, though they may be taken well before New England gets the chance to make its first-round selection.

Next Pats: These three players would be perfect Patriots draft picks

"In terms of who is gonna be there early, it's really two guys in the first round for Alabama that I think are sure-fire first-round picks and there's nobody else right now that I would call sure-fire," Rodak said. "Evan Neal the left tackle and Jameson Williams the wide receiver. Neal being potential top-three, maybe first overall pick so that's not a player the Patriots can really get even though there seems like it could be a need there. ...

"That explosive sort of deep threat that you just haven't seen from the Patriots this year ... they need somebody who can open it up down the field and can make some more explosive plays. Jameson's that guy."

Also discussed in this episode: What Day 2 players from Alabama could the Patriots target? Should the Patriots target a WR that Mac Jones has a history with? What potential Patriots are on Georgia? And answering questions from the Next Pats mailbag.

Check out the latest episode of the Next Pats Podcast on the NBC Sports Boston Podcast Network, or watch on YouTube below: