BOSTON (CBS) — As an organization, the Patriots really like Danny Etling. Despite cutting him last summer after drafting him in the seventh round out of LSU, the team signed him to the practice squad. And though most practice squad players don’t travel with the team for road games, Etling was a regular whenever the Patriots hit the road last season.
Clearly, the Patriots like Etling. They just might not like him as a quarterback anymore.
During minicamp, Etling could be found serving as the personal protector on the punt team. And on Thursday, at the team’s first training camp practice, Etling was no longer wearing the red non-contact jersey that all quarterbacks wear to practice.
Danny Etling (5) sheds the traditional red QB jersey as he arrives at practice, wearing a white jersey that all non-QBs on offense don. pic.twitter.com/EtY0cWGSpM
— Mike Reiss (@MikeReiss) July 25, 2019
And during that practice, Etling was working with the wide receivers. Instead of throwing footballs, Etling was catching them.
— Dan Roche (@RochieWBZ) July 25, 2019
NESN’s Doug Kyed shared a graph of Etling’s measurables, which — aside from height and weight — show that Etling doesn’t exactly have all the physical traits of an NFL wide receiver.
At 6-foot-3, 222 pounds, Danny Etling ran a 4.76-second 40-yard dash with a 1.63-second 10-yard split, 30.5-inch vertical leap, 9'6" broad jump, 4.37-second short shuttle and 7.09-second 3-cone at the combine in 2018. Here's his spider graph as a WR. pic.twitter.com/6WlFwrm93D
— Doug Kyed (@DougKyed) July 25, 2019
Still, you might recall that last year, in the Patriots’ preseason finale, Etling showed off some decent speed while breaking off an 86-yard touchdown run.
— New England Patriots (@Patriots) August 31, 2018
After that run, Bill Belichick said, “Danny is maybe a little faster than we thought he was.”
Apparently, the Patriots are intent on determining if he’s more versatile than they initially thought he was, too.
“I’ve always been open to anything to help the team win,” Etling told The Athletics’ Nick Underhill after minicamp.
With Tom Brady, Brian Hoyer and Jarrett Stidham perched atop the QB depth chart, that path to helping the team does not appear to be under center for Etling anymore.