Patriots Draft Trends: Athleticism Coveted Along Offensive Line

Patriots lineman Nate Solder

Photo via New England Patriots tackle Nate Solder (77) after the game against the Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field.

New England Patriots fans have never been more excited about the idea of adding offensive line help.

The Patriots lost to the Denver Broncos in the 2015 AFC Championship Game in large part because their offensive line couldn’t block edge rushers Von Miller and DeMarcus Ware. Nate Solder was lost for the season, Sebastian Vollmer had trouble switching from right tackle to left, and Marcus Cannon couldn’t seem to lay a finger on Miller all game.

Solder, Vollmer and Cannon are among 12 offensive tackles the Patriots have drafted since Bill Belichick was hired in 2000.

— The Patriots have drafted six offensive tackles who weigh more than the NFL average and six who weigh less. Marcus Cannon is the heaviest offensive tackle drafted by the Patriots at 358 pounds, while Clint Oldenburg is the lightest at 300 pounds.

— The Patriots had success selecting Matt Light, Vollmer and Solder. They all weigh less than the average NFL offensive tackle. Vollmer and Solder are significantly more athletic than average.

— Patriots offensive tackles are, on average, shorter, heavier and more explosive (broad jump and vertical leap) than average NFL offensive tackles.

— Offensive tackles drafted by the Patriots have average speed and short shuttle times and below average 3-cone times.

— The biggest stand-out measurement is the Patriots’ tackles’ vertical leap and broad jump distances.

The Patriots also have drafted 12 interior offensive linemen since 2000.

— Shaq Mason is the smallest and most athletic, while Tre’ Jackson is the biggest and least athletic. Both players were selected in 2015.

— The Patriots had success selecting Dan Koppen and Logan Mankins. The jury is still out on Bryan Stork, Mason and Jackson.

— Patriots guards are typically smaller, faster and more agile than the average NFL interior lineman. They’re also less explosive.

— The most stand-out measurement is is the Patriots’ 3-cone times. will go position by position to analyze the Patriots’ draft trends prior to this year’s NFL Scouting Combine. Look through our cornerbackrunning backlinebacker, wide receiver and defensive end trends.

Thumbnail photo via Chris Humphreys/USA TODAY Sports Images

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