I was really adamant last season that the Pats needed to find interior line help in the draft. It didn’t happen. Neither did Robert Gallery or Brian Waters. Things were rough at times but Brady seems to have developed a relationship with Ryan Wendell, and Belichick seems comfortable filling the RG position with spare parts players. The OT position, however, is thinner than ever and is one Seabass away from getting even thinner. They could use some OG depth, and a developmental tackle.
Obviously I’m looking at the DJ Flukers and Lane Johnsons of the draft but here are some linemen who are new to my radar that I think fit the Pats needs.
- Brian Schwenke G/C Cal
The top guards in this draft are UNC’s Johnathan Cooper and the Tide’s Chance Warmack but I think Schwenke put himself in the 2nd or 3rd round with this workout. He was consistently one of the most explosive lineman, and when everyone else looked like they were gassing out Schwenke had a noticeable smile on his face and looked like he was in his element.
- Vinston Painter RT Virginia Tech
It’s quietly starting to sink in that the OT depth is one Seabass away from getting dangerously thin. Painter is basically a one year starter at V Tech which is why you’ve never heard of him, but he was one of the most athletic lineman on the field. He moves around in space extremely well, and is noticeably lean for his size. He could probably put on another 10-15 lbs if he wanted to. I think he’s perfect as a mid round developmental RT or even LT prospect. Watch for #71:
- Terron Armstead – LT Arkansas Pinebluff
I don’t know where the hell this guy came from but he ran a 4.71 official 40. That came after weighing in at 306# and putting up 31 benches. I don’t know where to even start evaluating him, but with numbers like that I don’t see how anyone ends up ignoring him. He wouldn’t be the first player to Mike Mamula the draft (for starters… Mike Mamula?) if he turns out to suck but he’s worth a look for now.
- Luke Marquardt – LT Asuza Pacific
This 6’8″ 315 lb freakshow didn’t do field drills at the Combine, but I have it on good authority that the Pats met with him during the weekend. Analysts were astonished by his size. Per NFL.com’s Daniel Jeremiah “When I asked for a body-type comparison, I was given two names: Ivan Drago from Rocky IV and former professional wrestler Sid Vicious.” If you’ve never heard of Asuza Pacific you’re not alone, but the school produced Tecmo Bowl super back Christian Okoye who was the last player they sent to the NFL. At AP he was coached by hall of famer Jackie Slater son of Patriots special teams captain Matthew Slater.
- Jason Weaver– RT Southern Miss
Weaver was playing tackle for Arizona Western in 2009 when his team earned a trip to the Mississippi Bowl to play Eastern Miss. He obviously impressed someone because the next year he was starting at RT for the Southern Miss Golden Eagles. I’m always intrigued when an FBS team recruits a JUCO guy from across the country. His arms are massive, and he looks a lot quicker laterally than his 5.44 40 suggests vertically.
- J.C. Tretter– LT Cornell
Tretter was a 2 year starter at the alma mater of Andrew “Nard Dog” Bernard, and by all accounts was the man there. Take a peak at last year’s Ivy League stats. On average Cornell threw for 100 yards more per game than the #2 ranked offense. Their passing game set Ivy League records and was #3 in the FCS. He also lettered 2 years at Cornell at TE. I thought he had a great natural bend, quick feet, and nice lateral movement.