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Nick Caserio Explains Patriots' Pre-Draft Process With Bob Socci

BOSTON (CBS) - Bob Socci, the voice of your New England Patriots, takes to the Sports Hub airwaves to discuss prospects, scouting reports, team needs, welcome special guests and everything else you need to know ahead of the 2015 NFL Draft every Sunday at 8am through the end of draft season!

With the draft now just a few days away, Patriots director of player personnel Nick Caserio was a guest of Bob Socci's NFL Draft Preview Show Sunday morning to talk about what they look for in prospects and much more.

Socci started the conversation with a topic that's come up a few times now on the show about assessing spread-formation quarterbacks in college and projecting how they'll do in the NFL.

It's one of the hotter topics at the Combine among various general managers, and coaches in particular, whether or not these spread quarterbacks can make it in the pros.

But what rarely gets talked about is how other positions in spread offenses project in the NFL. Caserio discussed that dichotomy with Bob Socci.

"I would say the communication element is one of the bigger things that you end up finding out because of how they run their offenses. A lot of teams have tried to create tempo, so in order to create tempo there's less communication. We all see the quarterbacks look to the sidelines for information from the coach, but then there's other situations where each receiver in a multi-receiver offense has a specific coach that he's looking to for a signal or for information. So are they just responsible for what they need to know? Do they understand the big picture? It works both ways, even the same thing defensively."

That's why for Caserio and people of his ilk, picking the brains of these prospects and getting to know them is of utmost importance in the pre-draft process.

"That's really where you have to drill down and spend some time and figure out, 'OK. He's been productive. Is there a learning curve? What's his method of learning? Is it the way they run the offense?' So there are definitely multiples that you have to factor in, because the NFL game is not played that way. You have to be able to extrapolate that information from what you know."

In this upcoming draft New England is stocked with nine draft picks, so they certainly have the draft capital to move up or trade down, or just be flexible in general.

Understanding your team needs is one thing, but understanding the needs of the other 31 teams is also crucial, because that's one way you start a conversation in terms of draft-day trades.

"It's definitely a big part of the process. Bob Quinn, our director of pro scouting, kind of spearheads that process, but we try to do a team-by-team analysis based on the information that we have, and try to make some kind of estimation of what the team's need is and how we see it. If it impacts draft strategy to some degree you have to factor that in."

The NFL Draft is such an inexact science, and often times you don't know how you fared until years down the road. Last year there was multiple wide receivers that had an immediate impact on the league, so Socci was curious to hear from Caserio if there's any one position this time around with more depth than most.

"I'd say a number of those edge, sort of hybrid-type players, which there are a proliferation of those around the league, or have been the last few years. Every position I would say there's pretty good depth on multiple levels. some just may have more players than others, so in the end there's enough good football players that are out there. You just have to find the right ones that fit what you're doing, make the right decision and move forward."

Caserio also talked about continuity in New England's chain of command, collaborating with Bill Belichick on important decisions, the advantages of personally working out a player at their Pro Day and more.

Listen below:

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