The New England Patriots used draft capital Friday to add some additional beef to their offensive line.
According to a report from ESPN’s Field Yates and Adam Schefter, the San Francisco 49ers traded offensive tackle Trent Brown and the 143rd overall pick in the 2018 NFL Draft to the Patriots in exchange for the 95th overall selection.
A source confirmed the trade to NESN.com’s Doug Kyed. ProFootballTalk’s Mike Florio and others reported earlier in the day that the Patriots and 49ers were discussing a potential deal for Brown.
Brown, 25, is entering his fourth NFL season. He started every game he played in over the past two seasons (26 in total) and primarily lined up on the right side during his time in San Francisco, where he was tasked with protecting both Brian Hoyer and Jimmy Garoppolo.
Denver Broncos star pass rusher Von Miller last summer called the massive Brown, who is listed at 6-foot-8, 355 pounds, “the best right tackle in the National Football League.”
“And he may even be a top-five tackle, period, in the National Football League,” Miller told reporters after a joint practice with the 49ers. “There?s not another tackle who?s that tall, that big and can move he way he moves.”
Pro Football Focus graded Brown as the 21st-best tackle in the league last season. He missed the 49ers’ final six games with a shoulder injury that required surgery.
Patriots owner Robert Kraft told reporters Friday the team had acquired an offensive lineman “from the West Coast.”
It will be interesting to see where Brown lines up for the Patriots, who already have an established right tackle in Marcus Cannon — a 2016 second-team All-Pro who missed the second half of last season with an ankle injury — but a question mark on the left side following the departure of Nate Solder.
Brown is the fifth offensive lineman the Patriots have added since the NFL league year began last month. His trade came one day after New England used its first pick in the 2018 draft (23rd overall) on Isaiah Wynn, who played both tackle and guard at Georgia.
The Patriots also signed free agents Matt Tobin, Luke Bowanko and Ulrick John and re-signed LaAdrian Waddle while letting Solder and Cameron Fleming walk. Second-year pros Tony Garcia, Cole Croston and Andrew Jelks also will battle for playing time at tackle.