Patriots draft positional preview: Interior offensive line
NFL Draft Positional Review: Interior offensive line
By Tom E. Curran
CSNNE.com Patriots Insider
The Patriots have been neutered at the top of the 2016 NFL Draft, but they aren’t wholly impotent with 11 total picks . . . including four in the first 100 picks. Enjoy this Patriot-centric look at the team’s positional status, the best available players at each position and which direction the Patriots may be inclined to go when they are on the clock.
Interior offensive line need: 5
Cody Whitehair, Kansas State, 6-4, 301 pounds
Will be transitioning from tackle to guard, most likely. Plays under control, vise-like hands, smooth and athletic. Rarely gets awkward. Will have to get a bit stronger to handle massive interior linemen.
Joshua Garnett, Stanford, 6-4, 312 pounds
Excellent run-blocking guard with very good upper-body strength and the ability to seek and seal at the second level because he plays under control and with balance. A little slow afoot which means he can be a beat slow when ID’ing and getting to his man on twists and stunts.
Isaac Seumalo, Oregon State, 6-4, 303 pounds
Smart, steady, reliable guard who does his job with consistency and minimal flash. Another guard who, as many do, will get an early challenge from the power and bulk of NFL interior linemen.
Ryan Kelly, Alabama, 6-4, 311 pounds
Came on as a senior with an excellent season at center. Also can play guard so he has position versatility. Hard-working and very technically proficient. Not an outstanding athlete but still shaping up as the best center prospect.
Jack Allen, Michigan State, 6-1, 294 pounds
Will need to get a little bigger and stronger to anchor against interior defensive linemen at the NFL level but a very sharp player when it comes to leverage, technique and positioning. Does his job very well and is most ideally suited to a zone scheme.
Nick Martin, Notre Dame, 6-4, 299 pounds
Has position versatility and a very sharp, dependable player after the snap. Did draw a number of penalties last season and doesn’t move defenders like his brother, Zack, but a dependable, low-risk prospect.
Matt Skura, Duke, 6-3, 305 pounds
Another player with the position versatility the Patriots covet. Smart, patient with good strength and a nice record as a finisher. With the pass-heavy Blue Devils, he hasn’t been asked to do too much in the running game.