NFL Draft: Offensive Line Prospects New England Patriots

Patriots Mock Draft
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The New England Patriots offensive line struggled for much of this season to find consistency. After coming off a 2018 season in which New England’s offensive line ranked as the fourth-best unit within the NFL, the Patriots 2019 unit looked like a shell of themselves. These struggles were, in large part, due to the plethora of injuries. The team lost their starting center and anchor David Andrews to injured reserve before the regular season even kicked off. Additionally, starting left tackle Isaiah Wynn missed eight games with a toe injury and starting right guard Shaq Mason dealt with a lingering knee issue all year long which severely impacted his level of play.

The injuries resulted in mediocre depth players such as Marshall Newhouse, James Ferentz, and Ted Karras receiving extensive playing time. They, along with Joe Thuney, who USA Today ranked as the league’s ninth-best guard in football, are all expected to be free agents this March. Barring the unexpected, Bill Belichick and the Patriots staff will need to replenish multiple pieces along the offensive line through this year’s draft.         

NFL Draft: Offensive Line Prospects New England Patriots

Instant Starters and Developers  

Finding strong depth pieces through the draft is the most cost-effective route for New England to replenish their offensive line. Without a doubt, the team will need to select at least one interior offensive linemen and after retirement rumors of 31-year-old right tackle, Marcus Cannon, the team may feel pressured to also select a young tackle.

First Round, Pick #23: Cesar Ruiz IOL, Michigan 

Ruiz fits the mold for what New England loves within their offensive linemen. At 6-foot-4, 319 pounds, the Michigan product has an impressive combination of strength and mobility in his style of play. Ruiz has the power, quickness, and technique to move defenders in the run game, get to the second level, and play in space on screens. Additionally, having spent the majority of his college career at center, Ruiz easily has enough football IQ to understand NFL caliber blocking schemes and blitz responsibilities from all three interior positions.

Second Round, Pick #52 (Patriots trade picks #87, #99, #195 to Los Angeles Rams): Isaiah Wilson OT, Georgia

Wilson has one of the highest ceilings out of all the tackles in this draft class, but he needs time in order to develop. With an amazing frame, the 6-foot-7, 340-pound dancing bear’s best attribute is his raw power within the run blocking game. While Wilson needs time to perfect his footwork in pass protection as well as polish up some of his hand techniques, New England does not need him to play instantly. Wilson has drawn comparisons to Trent Brown and is a very raw prospect with huge NFL upside which, if developed correctly, would provide the Patriots with a solid future plan at tackle. 

Fourth Round, Pick #122: Trey Adams OT, Washington 

Adams is considered to be one of the biggest high-risk, high-reward players entering this year’s draft. Simply put, Adams has all of the tools and intangibles which franchise level left tackles possess. At a towering 6-foot-8 and athletic 318-pound weight, Adams has great fluidity in pass protection along with impressive strength when engaging defenders. However, the issues with Adams have nothing to do with his playing ability and everything to do with his availability. Adams was once considered to be a high round pick, but significant knee and back injuries have been huge red flags for the Washington prospect. 

With their current cap situation, New England likely will not be able to afford an expensive Thuney re-signing. Furthermore, Belichick will likely hesitate to re-sign any of their offensive line depth pieces to noteworthy money. This year’s draft offers multiple prospects that provide a talented upside for next to nothing.

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