Potential Patriots draft targets to watch in Shrine Bowl


New England Patriots fans should have the 2023 East-West Shrine Bowl on Feb. 2 marked down on their calendars.

The Patriots coaching staff will travel to Las Vegas to coach some of the NFL Draft prospects set to showcase their talents in the event. Bill Belichick will serve as a supervisor along with Atlanta Falcons head coach Arthur Smith.

Patriots wide receivers coach Troy Brown will serve as head coach for the West Team while cornerbacks coach Mike Pellegrino and safeties coach Brian Belichick join forces to coach the defense. Assistant wide receivers coach Ross Douglas will serve as offensive coordinator.

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The Shrine Bowl is a noteworthy event for NFL scouts, particularly in the Patriots organization as four of their eight draft picks in 2022 played in the game. So, who will they have their eyes on in this year's event?

Eric Galko, director of the Shrine Bowl, joined Phil Perry on a new episode of the Next Pats Podcast to discuss which players in the 2023 East-West Shrine Bowl should be on the Patriots' radar.

Zay Flowers, WR, Boston College

"I think he has a good chance to be not only a first-round pick, but an early first-round pick. Because he's kind of this perfect mix of DeSean Jackson, being a guy who can catch vertically, finish catches in traffic despite being a small receiver, but also is going to have that electric speed and downfield ability.

"I think he's a guy every team would love to coach because of the person he is as well as the talent. He's a guy who could show NFL teams during the week of practice that not only is he a capable, dynamic slot receiver/outside receiver, but he can be a No. 1 option in an offense."

Connor Galvin, OT, Baylor

"Galvin's a guy who's played a lot of left tackle in his college career. A really safe, reliable, powerful offensive tackle. He can pass block, run block at a very high level. He's a plug-and-play NFL contributor. The Patriots love those early-playing rookies on the offensive line."

Dalton Wagner, OT, Arkansas

"Played left and right tackle in college. He's big, long, can definitely do both. I think he's got a long NFL future that fits New England."

Ricky Stromberg, C, Arkansas

"A center who started 40 games in his college career. He's been around for a long, long time. Incredibly powerful, incredibly tough, incredibly nasty. He's a guy that maybe doesn't look the sexiest at the NFL Combine, but he's going to start 10 years in the NFL at center. He's a guy that can be a plug-and-play starter for the Patriots right away too."

Myles Brooks, CB, Louisiana Tech

"A dynamic athlete. He'll be a high 4.3 (40-yard dash). A really long, athletic, physical corner. He'll be really intriguing."

Starling Thomas, CB, UAB

"A versatile corner/safety. Really physical as well."

Cameron Brown, CB, Ohio State

"Came into the season with a lot of high expectations from NFL scouts. Didn't have the kind of year I think he thought he'd have, but at one point this guy looked like a first-round talent at Ohio State, a school known for churning out corners. He was the best corner at Ohio State a year ago and he'll be a guy that teams are really excited to see."

Also on this episode: Patriots offensive lineman Rich Ohrnberger joins Perry to discuss what it was like playing for new offensive coordinator Bill O'Brien and explains how O'Brien's offense should put more pressure on opposing defenses.

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

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