FOXBORO, Mass. — Deatrich Wise thought he knew what to expect when the New England Patriots selected him in the fourth round of the 2017 NFL Draft. Boy, was he wrong.
The rookie defensive end said Thursday his first few weeks of workouts with Patriots coaches have been far more intense than he anticipated.
“It’s been different,” Wise said in his first meeting with reporters at Gillette Stadium. “I think I had my expectations on what NFL workouts would be, and it was nothing (like this). Here, it’s totally different. They work hard. They build muscles. Obviously, they build muscles, but the expectations people think of pros working out is real lax. They can do that they want.
“But here, it’s a grind day in, day out. They say they lift heavier weights toward the end of the season than they do in the beginning of the season, and that’s something that I’m really looking forward to. … It’s intense.”
Luckily for Wise and fellow 2017 draft pick Derek Rivers, they’ve had plenty of veterans to guide them in their transition from college ball to the NFL. One of those vets is Rob Ninkovich, who at 33 is the elder statesman among New England’s defensive ends.
“(On Thursday), we were doing drills and Rob pulled me to the side and just taught me some little things I could learn on my pass rush, learn on the drills, how to improve things,” Wise said. “He’s taught not only me but Derek, as well. He’s another mentor type. I would say like an older brother/father-like figure on the D-line.”
Wise also has leaned on Trey Flowers, his former teammate at Arkansas, since arriving in Foxboro earlier this month.
“With the guys in that room — Trey, Rob, the others, Geneo (Grissom), (Kony) Ealy — those guys with high experience, I just kind of look up to them,” Wise said. “See how they run everything. And the talent level is so high in that room, it’s a competition daily.”
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