Dan Koppen is signed through 2011, Matt Light through 2010, and Logan Mankins, Stephen Neal, Ryan O’Callaghan, Nick Kaczur and Billy Yates through 2009. Will the Pats invest an early pick on an offensive lineman? You never know, which is why we offer this three pack of top prospects.
Tony Ugoh, OT, Arkansas
Senior, 6’5, 301, 5.06
Ranked 37th overall on BSMW Mock Board (as of 3/24)
Ugoh is getting some play as a possible choice in the latter part of the first round, including Rob Rang of NFL Draft Scout, who has him going to the Pats at 28. After reading the profiles, I can’t get behind that idea. Sounds like a guy that will take awhile to develop, if he ever does. He has to move from tackle to guard, and bulk up. Seems kind of limited from a mobility standpoint, particularly in pass protection, but more to the point, has been described as “lethargic” and “ambivalent” at times. It is speculated he liked track (he threw the discus and shot for Arkansas) better than football. Does this sound like a fit to you?
Justin Blaylock, G, Texas
Senior, 6’3, 320, 5.10
Ranked 33rd overall on BSMW Mock Board (as of 3/24)
Blaylock is another guard that could be among the final few picks of the first round. I like to see words like “durability” and “consistency” and “productivity” when I’m looking at the profiles. He just sounds like one of these guys that will be in the league fifteen years. Physical, aggressive presence in the run game, though there are typical concerns about his mobility as a pass blocker. He seems to be able to improve on his weaknesses, though. He played some 40 games as a tackle before switching to guard last season, so the thought is he may be able to play either position. With this versatility and his track record, he will most likely prove to be a solid pick at this stage of the draft.
Ben Grubbs, G, Auburn
Senior, 6’2, 311, 5.18
Ranked 32nd overall on BSMW Mock Board (as of 3/24)
Grubbs may have the most upside of this group, because when I hear the words ‘Alan Faneca’ uttered in comparison, I figure Grubbs has a chance to have a similar pro-bowl career. The profiles say he has the power for the trenches and the athleticism to get downfield. Really came on as a leader during a dominating senior season. Aggressive, durable, hard worker. Started as a defense tackle, then moved to blocking tight end before settling in at left guard, where he became a front-line prospect. The Patriots offensive line seems to be one of the most settled positions on the team, but with his potential, Grubbs may have real value in the latter part of the first round.