TURNS 25: AUGUST 28, 2018
FINAL RATING: 6.2
Shaq Mason came to New England as the product of an option attack at Georgia Tech. Though he had a ways to go in picking up a pro-style offense following the 2015 draft, he quickly established himself as one of the most athletic players on the Patriots offensive line.
The fourth-round pick started 12 games last season, including both playoff games, and has followed that up by playing in every game this year. Since Week 3, he hasn't missed a snap at right guard.
Though somewhat undersized at 6-foot-1, Mason's ability to move in space and deliver powerful blocks on defenders of all sizes makes him a real asset in the power running game and in the screen game the Patriots so often employ.
"He’s tough. He can really move. He’s got great agility," offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels said earlier this season. "I tell him he’s got built-in leverage because he’s not the tallest guy in the world, so that gives him an added advantage in terms of being underneath people. Ultimately, playing the offensive line position, that’s really the most important thing. You’ve got to win with leverage and pad-level, and Shaq has done a nice job of that."
Mason has improved steadily over the course of two seasons and is under contract for two more. His intelligence and athleticism -- along with the familiarity he has now with right tackle Marcus Cannon and center David Andrews -- should enable him to continue to grow.