Chandler Jones in 2012. (Image via AOL.SportingNews.com)
The 3-cone drill doesn't get the same notoriety as the 40-yard dash, but it still carries some weight. Instead of showing straight-line speed, the 3-cone drill shows lateral quickness and footwork.
This workout tests a player's change of direction. And as Christopher Price of WEEI.com points out, New England places a lot of value in its results.
Based on NFLCombineResults.com's data, here's a dozen former New England draft picks who placed in the top 10 at their position: Justin Francis, Chandler Jones, Jake Bequette, Devin McCourty, Terrence Wheatley, Brandon Meriweather, Chad Jackson, Ellis Hobbs, Asante Samuel, Deion Branch and David Givens.
This year, expect the Patriots to select a few more 3-cone standouts. Let's take a gander at some prospects who timed well and could be scheme fits for New England:
Da'Rick Rogers, WR, Tennessee Tech
A Tennessee cast-off, Rogers found a home at Tennessee Tech. Standing in at 6'2", 217 pounds, Rogers has the size to be potent target down the field. He ran the 3-cone drill in 6.71 seconds at the combine. He would be great value in the third round.
Markus Wheaton, WR, Oregon State
Wheaton doesn't have great size at 5'11", 189 pounds. However, he's got a great pair of hands and gets open due to his shifty footwork. Wheaton ran well at the combine, posting a 3-cone time of 6.8 seconds. This Beaver has deceptive big-play ability and should be taken in the second round.
Devin Taylor, DE, South Carolina
Taylor is a specimen at 6'7" and 266 pounds. He's got the long arms and range to disrupt the line of scrimmage. He's got some bend in his step, too—he ran a 6.89 3-cone. That time was second to only LSU's Barkevious Mingo, who will be a first-round pick. Taylor's size and athleticism make him a gem in later rounds of the draft.
Michael Buchanan, DE, Illinois
At 6'5", 255 pounds, Buchanan was one of the select few defensive ends to participate in the drill. He did not disappoint. Buchanan completed the 3-cone in 6.91 seconds. The Illini will likely end up a Day 3 draft choice, and a very viable one at that.
Logan Ryan, CB, Rutgers
Another Scarlet Knight, Ryan's 5'11",191-pound frame will help him become a physical NFL starter. Running the 3-cone in 6.69 seconds, Ryan placed second among all cornerbacks who partook in the drill. He shouldn't leave the second round of the draft without hearing his name called.
Jamar Taylor, CB, Boise State
Taylor had a great all-around combine. The Bronco was one of the top performers in the 40-yard dash, the bench press, the 20-yard shuttle and he even clocked a respectable 6.82 in the 3-cone drill. The 5'10", 192-pound DB should excel on the outside in the NFL. Heating up at the right time, Taylor may end up a first-round pick.