Patriots Could Draft Derek Sherrod to Plan for Future at Tackle

Patriots Could Draft Derek Sherrod to Plan for Future at Tackle Derek Sherrod is the most difficult tackle to analyze among the draft's first-round prospects.

The occasional analyst believes he deserves top billing, but others believe he's not among the top five. Most commonly, though, Sherrod is measured fourth or fifth, and that is probably the most accurate way to label him.
 
The Patriots will likely be looking at tackles in this draft, and with three early picks, Sherrod could be one of their targets.
 
Key Stats
 
The 6-foot-5, 321-pounder started 34 games at left tackle over his final three seasons at Mississippi State and was a Second Team All-American as a senior.
 
Why the Patriots Would Want Him
 
Sherrod is considered one of the four or five best tackles in the draft, and while he's typically left outside of the top three — Tyron Smith, Gabe Carimi and Anthony Castonzo — every now and then there's a report that has him ranked No. 1. The team captain also graduated early and has been honored for his academics, which is always an appealing aspect for the character-conscious Patriots.
 
Why the Patriots Might Stay Away
 
Sherrod was a four-star recruit out of high school and turned down a handful of big-time programs — including Florida, Miami, Michigan and Notre Dame — to go to Mississippi State, which is a midlevel contender in the SEC. He is criticized for not having the greatest motor, and he had a substandard workout at the combine. All of these things make it fair to question his desire and passion for football.
 
Potential Impact in 2011
 
Sherrod has the talent to start right away in the NFL. If Matt Light returns, he'll be the third tackle on the depth chart. If Light is gone, Sherrod and Sebastian Vollmer will anchor the two tackle positions.
 
What The Locals Are Saying
 
The SEC prepared Sherrod for the NFL.
 
Where Can the Patriots Expect to Draft Sherrod?
 
He'll definitely be there at No. 17, but there's a strong chance there will be a run on offensive linemen in the bottom third of the first round. It's unlikely he'll be there at No. 28, so the Patriots would have to target him with their first selection.
 
Every day through April 28, NESN.com will spotlight one player the Patriots could draft with one of their first three picks.

Friday, April 1: California defensive end Cameron Jordan
 
Saturday, April 2: North Carolina defensive end/outside linebacker Robert Quinn
 
Sunday, April 3: Ohio State defensive lineman Cameron Heyward
 
Monday, April 4: Alabama wide receiver Julio Jones
 
Tuesday, April 5: Nebraska cornerback Prince Amukamara
 
Wednesday, April 6: Alabama running back Mark Ingram
 
Thursday, April 7: Boston College tackle Anthony Castonzo
 
Friday, April 8: Florida interior lineman Mike Pouncey
 
Saturday, April 9: Wisconsin tackle Gabe Carimi
 
Sunday: April 10: Georgia defensive end/outside linebacker Justin Houston
 
Monday, April 11: Clemson defensive end Da'Quan Bowers
 
Tuesday, April 12: Wisconsin defensive end J.J. Watt
 
Wednesday, April 13: UCLA outside linebacker Akeem Ayers

Thursday, April 14: USC tackle Tyron Smith

Friday, April 15: Baylor nose tackle Phil Taylor
 
Sunday, April 17: Colorado cornerback Jimmy Smith


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