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Sunday, February 23, 2014
Starr, 3-cone drill & the Patriots

By Field Yates

INDIANAPOLIS -- While many NFL prospects hope to record a fast 40 time here at the combine, South Dakota linebacker Tyler Starr has his eyes on the three-cone drill.

Specifically, he wants to set the record for the best three-cone drill time in combine history.

"Yeah I had recorded a couple of fast times and I thought, hopefully if all goes well, there's a possibility of making that happen," he said on Sunday morning.

"I have recorded times that have been at 6.29, 6.31 [seconds]," he added. "If it happens, obviously, I'll be grateful and happy."

Why the desire to standout in the three-cone drill?

"Just for a linebacker, you're not really opening up on a 40, running with a receiver on a fade route," Starr explained. "You're getting off the ball and you know, getting to five yards, trying to turn the corner on a pass rush or you're getting up the field, recognizing it's a pass, then we open up, get back and drop, be able to change direction and make things happen along the line of scrimmage."

From a Patriots' perspective, we mentioned yesterday how the team values the three-cone drill as a measure of short area quickness and explosion. The three-cone drill measures a player’s agility across a staggered, 30-yard, L-shaped course.

Starr hopes to display those traits in his attempt to set the record.

The small-school and small town product -- he mentioned his hometown of Little Rock, Iowa having just 400 people -- could be the next South Dakota linebacker to crack into the NFL.

While he hasn’t met him personally, Starr mentioned that he was familiar with former Patriots linebacker (and now a Boston-based media member) Matt Chatham, himself a South Dakota graduate.

"My coaches have some stories on him,” he said. “He was a freak himself. He's got his jersey hanging up in the locker room.”