Patriots NFL Draft Fits: Jason Spriggs Among Potential Offensive Line Picks


The New England Patriots are in a predicament as they attempt to fix their offensive line issues this offseason.

The Patriots can’t completely overhaul the interior line, unless they’re already willing to give up on young guards Shaq Mason and Tre’ Jackson and centers Bryan Stork and David Andrews, which wouldn’t be wise. Patriots left tackle Nate Solder is under contract through 2017 and not going anywhere.

The Patriots could elect to move on from offensive tackles Sebastian Vollmer and/or Marcus Cannon. Vollmer struggled in a move to left tackle last season after Solder was placed on injured reserve. Vollmer was the Patriots’ best lineman in 2014 at right tackle, however. Cannon struggled mightily in starting opportunities in 2015, but Patriots coach Bill Belichick seems to value him highly, as proven by the two-year, $9 million contract extension the five-year veteran signed in 2014.

The Patriots must do something to improve this group in 2016, however, and they’ll likely look to boost and add a jolt of youth to their group of offensive tackles. Vollmer and Cannon are free agents after the 2016 season, so the Patriots should begin planning ahead.

The NFL Scouting Combine ended Monday, so we now have a better sense of which prospects the Patriots could select based on the team’s draft trends and the players’ measurables. The Patriots value lateral quickness and explosion over size at offensive tackle, so here are the potential fits.

OT Jason Spriggs, Indiana
6-foot-6, 301 pounds
Projected round: 2
Spriggs will need to add some bulk at the NFL level, but he has plenty of athleticism to spare. Spriggs ran a 4.94-second 40-yard dash and posted a 9-foot, 7-inch broad jump and 4.44-second short shuttle. Those measurements would be respectable for a tight end.

OT Germain Ifedi, Texas A&M
6-foot-6, 324 pounds
Projected round: 2
Ifedi was one of the heaviest offensive linemen at the combine, but he still flashed the requisite athleticism for a Patriots offensive tackle. He ran a 1.78-second 10-yard split and posted a 32.5-inch vertical leap.

OT Alex Lewis, Nebraska
6-foot-6, 312 pounds
Projected round: 6
Lewis has the size, explosion and lateral quickness the Patriots look for in a late-round offensive tackle. He recorded a 29.5-inch vertical leap and a 4.72-second short shuttle.

OT Brandon Shell, South Carolina
6-foot-5, 324 pounds
Projected round: 7
The Patriots met with Shell at the combine, and if they’re not looking to address their offensive tackle needs until late in the draft, he could be their guy.

Shell was one of the bigger offensive linemen at the combine and still ran a 1.75-second 10-yard split to start off his 5.22-second 40-yard dash. He recorded a 9-foot, 4-inch broad jump and a 30.5-inch vertical leap.

OT Tyler Johnstone, Oregon
6-foot-5, 301 pounds
Projected round: Undrafted
Johnson likely will be drafted after his impressive performance at the combine. He ran a 5.21-second 40-yard dash, a 7.31-second three-cone and a 4.60-second short shuttle.

Johnson has the agility and lateral quickness of a linebacker at over 300 pounds.

Check out how every offensive tackle at the combine fared against the Patriots’ typical standards.

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The Patriots value lateral quickness and agility over size at guard and center, so here are the potential fits along the interior line.

G Joshua Garnett
6-foot-4, 312 pounds
Projected round: 2 to 3
Stanford has been a farm system for the Patriots in recent years, and Garnett fits the Patriots’ prototype at guard with a 7.63-second three-cone drill and 4.64-second short shuttle.

G Connor McGovern
6-foot-4, 306 pounds
Projected round: 4 to 5
McGovern checked every box for a prospective Patriots guard. He ran a 5.11-second 40-yard dash and posted a 33-inch vertical, 9-foot, 1-inch broad jump, 7.50-second three-cone and 4.65-second short shuttle.

G Isaac Seumalo
6-foot-4, 303 pounds
Projected round: 6
Seumalo has great agility for a guard. He ran a 7.40-second three-cone and 4.52-second short shuttle. He didn’t compete in the bench press at the combine.

G Joe Dahl
6-foot-4, 304 pounds
Projected round: 6
Dahl had a steady combine across the board and stood out with a 9-foot, 1-inch broad jump and a 31-inch vertical leap.

G Joe Thuney
6-foot-5, 304 pounds
Projected round: 7
Thuney aced the combine with an extremely impressive 1.70-second 10-yard split on his 4.95-second 40-yard dash. He also had a 7.47-second three-cone and 4.54-second short shuttle.

Check out how every guard and center at the combine fared against the Patriots’ typical standards.

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Thumbnail photo via Brian Spurlock/USA TODAY Sports Images

Thumbnail photo via Feb 26, 2016; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Indiana Hoosiers offensive lineman Jason Spriggs (41) does the broad jump during the 2016 NFL Scouting Combine at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

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