The New England Patriots‘ legendary head coach Bill Belichick seems to be fond of Jake Dolegala. He praised the 6’7″ quarterback just a few weeks ago, and thus it wasn’t a surprise to see him added back to the practice squad after being released a few days ago.
Today's practice squad player swap (QB Jake Dolegala for TE David Wells) does not change my Patriots salary cap space number of $21,291,272.
— Cap Space = $21,291,272 (@patscap) November 16, 2020
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Jake Dolegala Seems to Be the Patriots’ Developmental QB
All year long, the Patriots like many other teams in the NFL, have been shuffling and re-shuffling their practice squad. Dolegala had been a part of the Patriots’ PS for weeks, but he found himself as a casualty last week amidst a recent shuffle
Never fear, just a few weeks after Belichick praised him publicly, he brought Dolegala back to the PS. The consistent connection makes you think that the Patriots, a team with an uncertain future at the QB spot, might be taking an extended look at Dolegala.
Here’s what Patriots.com had to say about the young prospect.
Dolegala, 23, originally signed with the Cincinnati Bengals as a rookie free agent on May 10, 2019, out of Central Connecticut State. The 6-foot-7, 242-pounder was inactive for 15 games and dressed but did not play in one game for the Bengals in 2019. He released by the Bengals on Sept. 5, 2020.
What Scouts Have Said About Dolegala
Dolegala is a development guy, but few players have his combination of size, decent athleticism, and a big arm. Dolegala helped to emulate Russell Wilson ahead of the Patriots’ Week 2 battle with the Seattle Seahawks, which sounds crazy considering the size difference.
While Dolegala went undrafted in 2019 out of tiny Central Connecticut, Dolegala was certainly on talent evaluator’s radars.
Here’s what Walter Football’s Charlie Campbell had to say about Dolegala ahead of the postseason All-Star Games:
The 2019 NFL Draft will be no different, and there is a small-school quarterback who is generating a buzz in the scouting community. That player is Central Connecticut’s Jacob Dolegala. While Dolegala has not gotten any media attention, team sources say that Dolegala is an intriguing talent, and some think he could end up being a mid-round pick in the 2019 NFL Draft. In speaking to team sources, they say that Dolegala has good arm action and great size. The senior is also listed at 6-foot-6, 235 pounds, which is just about ideal for the NFL. On the year, he completed 61 percent of his passes for 2,221 yards with 16 touchdowns and six interceptions. Some scouts are hoping that Dolegala will be playing at an all-star game to help them gauge how he handles the better competition. The Senior Bowl really helped Flacco, and the East-West Shrine did a lot for Garoppolo. With Dolegala’s skill set, he could impress in pre-draft workouts. Right now, Dolegala has put himself on the map, and he could end up being graded out as a fourth- or fifth-round pick, according to some sources.
The Soonest You’d See Dolegala Getting a Chance With the Patriots
Cam Newton has been playing well over the past three weeks in leading the team to a 2-1 record during that time, and it appears the team is making another surge toward the postseason. As long as Newton is playing well, Dolegala and every other QB on the roster will stay on the sidelines or inactive this season.
That said, I wouldn’t call it crazy to suggest Dolegala could be on the roster next season if he continues to take care of business in practice.
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