By Brent Schwartz, CBS Boston
BOSTON (CBS) — After the 2017 NFL Draft, the New England Patriots signed one of the more sought-after undrafted rookies in former BYU linebacker Harvey Langi.
Langi attended a high school in South Jordan, Utah, before committing to the University of Utah to play football.
As a freshman at Utah, Langi first played running back. After that he transferred to BYU, where he switched to the defensive side of the ball.
During his senior campaign at BYU, Langi started at both defensive end and inside linebacker throughout the season. He totaled 57 tackles (five tackles for loss) and two sacks during the season. During his junior and senior seasons, Langi started in 23 of the 24 games he played in.
- 2017 Reese’s Senior Bowl selection
- Butkus Award Watch List
NFL Combine Results
- 4.62 40-yard dash
- Bench press (225 pounds): 23 reps
- Vertical jump: 33 inches
- 3-cone drill: 7.00 seconds
- Broad jump: 118 inches
Strengths and Weaknesses
Langi is as versatile as they come, with Division I experience on both sides of the ball. However, according to his NFL.com draft profile, Langi has a lot to learn as a linebacker due to various positions he played.
Langi is still struggling to react at a position that he is still learning. He loses track of the ball during misdirection plays, and his instincts at the position are off.
But the 6-foot-2, 250 pound Langi does bring sheer strength to the middle of the field. If he does choose the correct gap, Langi can punish ball carriers with his size and power. Langi also has the ability to play some man coverage in pass defense.
What to expect from Langi with the Patriots?
One of the key storylines in training camp will be who steps up next to captain Dont’a Hightower at linebacker. Langi is one of many vying for a role.
As an undrafted rookie, it’ll be tough for Langi to make the 53-man roster. He’ll be in competition against Shea McCellin, Kyle Van Noy, Elandon Roberts, and Jonathan Freeny. Not to mention, the Patriots just signed former Jets linebacker David Harris, who has a good chance of making the roster himself.
If any undrafted rookie makes the team, it would be Langi. The linebacker’s versatility may come into play when the Patriots are addressing their needs on special teams, and in pass coverage formations where an athletic linebacker is needed.
Still, it’s difficult to imagine Langi playing many snaps on defense this season. Our guess is that he’ll sneak onto the roster after a surprise cut at linebacker, and will contribute mostly on special teams. In that case, he’d be an injury away from receiving key defensive snaps.
If he fails to make the 53-man roster, he’ll likely land on the practice squad, but will surely catch the eye of other teams.