How Will Lawrence Guy’s Versatility Fit Into Patriots’ Front Seven?


Mar 28, 2017

New England fans got their hopes up when the Patriots worked out defensive lineman Jared Odrick shortly before the NFL league year began earlier this month. The Patriots had their sights set on another guy: Lawrence Guy.

Yeah, jokes about Guy’s last name still aren’t old. It’s yet to be determined if Guy is the guy or a JAG (just a guy). See?

The Patriots liked Guy, who previously played for the Baltimore Ravens, enough to sign him to a four-year contract.

So what does he add to New England’s defense?

6-foot-4, 305 pounds
27 years old
4.98-second 40-yard dash, 1.81-second 10-yard split, 29-inch vertical leap, 8-feet, 8-inch broad jump, 4.43-second short shuttle, 7.34-second 3-cone drill
2016 stats: 28 tackles, one sack, one forced fumble

That’s a really great question.

There are a lot of players in the NFL. I’d say I’ve heard of about 95 percent of the players on 53-man rosters. I probably know something — college attended, former team, draft class, draft round, 40 time, exact height and weight — about roughly 85 percent of them. Guy fell into that 10 percent where I had heard of him but knew next to nothing about him before the Patriots signed him.

Now that I know much more about Guy — like that he went to Arizona State and previously played for the Green Bay Packers, Indianapolis Colts and San Diego Chargers — I see why he should be great rotational defensive lineman for the Patriots. He has the versatility to play defensive end or defensive tackles in the Patriots’ hybrid front seven. His most natural positions are five-technique defensive end and three-technique defensive tackle, though he could also play nose tackle or seven-technique defensive end.

Guy likely will be the Patriots’ third defensive tackle, rotating with Alan Branch and Malcom Brown. He also likely will see snaps at defensive tackle on third down. The Patriots typically didn’t use a defensive tackle on passing downs last season, electing to go with three or four defensive ends instead. Guy could change that.

Most importantly, Guy adds a different body shape to the Patriots’ interior defensive line. Branch, Brown and Vincent Valentine are big, 320-pound space eaters. Guy has more athleticism than the Patriots’ other interior defensive linemen and can add a different element while bringing more versatility.

The Patriots theoretically could line up Branch, Brown or Valentine at seven technique defensive end, but it would be like driving an eighteen-wheeler in a drag race. Guy at least is like using a souped-up snow plow, which … I don’t know if that’s a thing. Like ponies, I don’t know much about cars, pickup trucks or even really what souped-up means. But I’m assuming a “souped-up” snow plow truck would fare better in a drag race than a mack truck.

Guy certainly is the least flashy of all of the Patriots’ offseason additions so far. He’s not even the Jimmy King to Brandin Cooks’ Chris Webber. Guy is the Ray Jackson.

But he’ll still have a role, and he still could make a big impact on the Patriots’ interior defensive line, helping to maintain the team’s run defense while improving its pass rush.

Thumbnail photo via Mark J. Rebilas/USA TODAY Sports Images

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