Patriots Trade Up To Pick UCLA Tackle Conor McDermott In Sixth Round Of NFL Draft

After doubling up on defensive ends in the 2017 NFL Draft, the New England Patriots did the same with offensive tackles.

The Patriots traded up five spots in the sixth round Saturday afternoon to select UCLA tackle Conor McDermott 211th overall, one day after nabbing Troy tackle Antonio Garcia in the third round (83rd overall).

The trade involved New England sending the 216th and 239th overall selections to the Dallas Cowboys in exchange for No. 211, making McDermott the Patriots’ final draft pick of 2017.

Like Garcia, McDermott is lean for his position at 6-foot-8, 307 pounds. A former high school basketball standout, he’s very athletic but will need to improve his strength and technique to succeed at the NFL level.

Tackle also is a relatively new spot for the 24-year-old. He played tight end in high school and estimated he weighed “between 235 and 240 (pounds)” when he arrived at UCLA.

“I was a tight end my whole life,” McDermott said Saturday in his introductory conference call with New England reporters. “Then when I got to UCLA, they moved me right to tackle and then I did some tackle-tight end formations on goal-line and short-yard (situations) my first two years. And then I was a full-time left tackle starter.

“(Playing tight end) helped me when I got to UCLA. They threw me right in the fire at left tackle. It helped me. My basketball skills and tight end ability helped me learn fast and helped me tremendously.”

McDermott started all 12 games at left tackle in 2016 and earned second-team All-Pac 12 honors as a junior and as a senior. He also served as the Bruins’ backup long snapper — the position his older brother, Kevin, currently plays for the Minnesota Vikings.

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

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