By: Steve Balestrieri
Kelcy Quarles DL that was cut by the New York Giants was claimed by the Patriots on Sunday according to the NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport.
Quarles was a stand-out for South Carolina, logging 9.5 sacks in 2013 for the Gamecocks. We really liked him during the draft process and had him tagged for New England, thinking he’d be a great fit being able to spell Vince Wilfork inside.
Here are our draft notes on Quarles:
Quarles is a big interior DL at 6’4, 300 that has the versatility to line up inside at DT or slide outside as a 5-technique. While much of the focus in SC was on his heralded teammate Jadevon Clowney, Quarles was very productive for the Gamecocks putting up 13.5 tackles for loss and 9.5 sacks.
Quarles uses a combination of quickness to shoot gaps and strength to bull-rush past blockers. Keeps his pad level low for a big man and can take on blockers at the point of attack. Bill Belichick loves his players to be versatile and Quarles would be a nice addition to the Patriots DL, given that Tommy Kelly is returning from injury as well as Vince Wilfork who may be released prior to the season beginning.
Quarles also has Patriots DNA in his background as his uncle is former Patriots TE Ben Coates.
After suffering an ankle injury in camp for the Giants his progress was slowed and was one of Tom Couglin’s last cuts in camp. He has a big supporter in former Giant great Carl Banks who tweeted Quarles twice on Sunday after learning of his pickup by New England:
It will be interesting to see how the Patriots plan on utilizing Quarles, now that Kelly is gone and with both Siliga and Chris Jones dinged up for the present. But if healthy he presents a big, penetrating presence on the interior who is versatile enough to line up outside in a 3-4 alignment. With Carl Banks offering encouragement, it would seem that he made a nice impression while in New York.
Here is a highlight video compilation put together by the Gamecocks staff: