The New England Patriots are turning to the quarterback position to find their newest wide receiver.
"Everyone has a lot of different roles on this team, and I'm no exception," Etling said, per Reiss. "I'm excited to continue to keep trying to find a different role for myself and do whatever the coaches ask me to do."
New England selected Etling as a quarterback out of LSU in the seventh round of the 2018 NFL draft, but he spent his first year on the practice squad and did not participate in a regular-season game. Reiss pointed out he also took snaps on special teams during Thursday's practice, which is notable because former Kent State quarterback Julian Edelman first made the team as a wide receiver and special teams player.
Now, Edelman is the reigning Super Bowl MVP.
Despite this move, Etling has been a quarterback throughout his career. He was a 4-star recruit in the class of 2013, per 247Sports' composite rankings, and played two seasons at Purdue before transferring to LSU. He completed 57.9 percent of his passes for 7,076 yards, 43 touchdowns and 19 interceptions during his collegiate career for both schools.
He did run for 128 yards and two scores in his final season with the Tigers, suggesting he can make plays in the open field with the ball in his hands.
There was less of a need for Etling on the quarterback depth chart after the Patriots selected Auburn's Jarrett Stidham in the fourth round of the 2019 draft to back up Tom Brady and Brian Hoyer.