What new Patriots LB Raekwon McMillan thought of Bill Belichick at 2017 NFL Draft

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Darren Hartwell
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McMillan's quote about Belichick during pre-draft process aged well originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston

It's a good thing Raekwon McMillan got over his initial fear.

The veteran linebacker reportedly is signing a one-year contract with the New England Patriots in free agency. It's a good move for the Patriots, who bolster their defense by adding a solid linebacker who started all 16 games in his second season with the Miami Dolphins in 2018.

New England has had its eye on McMillan for a while, holding a private workout with the Ohio State product prior to the 2017 NFL Draft. McMillan also met Patriots head coach Bill Belichick -- who made quite the first impression on the young linebacker.

Patriots Talk Podcast: How Bill Belichick got his mojo back | Listen & Subscribe | Watch on YouTube

"When you first meet him, you're scared," McMillan said at the time, via Patriots Insider Phil Perry. "He's quizzing you. It's like a little test."

McMillan came away from the meeting pleasantly surprised with Belichick's staff, however.

"But after you get done with the test, the quiz or whatever, drawing up the defense, it's pretty cool," he added. "They're real down-to-earth people."

The Dolphins landed McMillan with the No. 54 pick in the 2017 Draft, while the Patriots didn't pick until the third round. Four years later, the 25-year-old -- who played under ex-New England assistant Greg Schiano at Ohio State -- is joining Belichick and his staff.

If that pre-draft quote is any indication, it sounds like he'll fit well in Foxboro.

McMillan started just four games for the Las Vegas Raiders last season after three years in Miami, but the 6-foot-2, 242-pound linebacker brings impressive speed (4.61-second 40-yard dash at the NFL Combine) to a revamped group that reunited with Kyle Van Noy and is expected to get Dont'a Hightower back.