Leading up to the 2018 NFL Draft, which runs from April 26-28, NESN.com will do a New England Patriots draft fits series. We’ll continue it with offensive tackles.
For the first time since 2001, the New England Patriots are in search of a starting left tackle.
The Patriots could choose to give the all-important blindside protector role to a player currently on the roster, like LaAdrian Waddle, Antonio Garcia or Cole Croston, or they could try to select a player early in the 2018 NFL Draft, as everyone expects out of them.
Here are offensive tackle options for the Patriots with each of their eight draft picks.
Round 1, 23rd Overall Pick: Mike McGlinchey, Notre Dame
McGlinchey is considered the best offensive tackle in the draft, and even he might need to move to right tackle. He has impressive size at 6-foot-8 but didn’t run a 40-yard dash, 3-cone or short shuttle, so it’s difficult to compare his athleticism to other prospects and past Patriots draft picks. He let up three sacks and 16 total pressures in 2017.
Round 1, 31st Overall Pick: Kolton Miller, UCLA
Miller, on the other hand, checks every box athletically for a prospective Patriots rookie offensive tackle. At 6-foot-9, 309 pounds, Miller showed off better agility than some tight ends with a 7.34-second 3-cone and 4.49-second short shuttle. He also ran a 4.95-second 40-yard dash with a 1.67-second 10-yard split, 31.5-inch vertical leap, 10-foot and 1-inch broad jump.
He’s a popular first-round pick for the Patriots due to comparisons to former New England left tackle Nate Solder. He let up two sacks and 16 total pressures last season.
Round 2, 43rd Overall Pick: Tyrell Crosby, Oregon
Crosby isn’t quite as athletic as Miller or the guy below him on this list, but he has the length (35-inch arms) and past production (he didn’t allow a sack in 2017) needed to get it done at the next level. He let up just seven total pressures.
Round 2, 63rd Overall Pick: Brian O’Neill, Pittsburgh
We don’t really know why O’Neill is regarded a second-round prospect while Miller is projected in the second. O’Neill is a similar athlete at 6-foot-7, 297 pounds with a 4.82-second 40-yard dash and 7.14-second 3-cone drill. He allowed just one sack and nine pressures in 2017. He’s our favorite pick for a future Patriots left tackle.
Round 3, 95th Overall Pick: Joe Noteboom, TCU
Noteboom is another athletic fit at 6-foot-5, 309 pounds. He let up two sacks and 13 pressures in 2017.
Round 6, 198th Overall Pick: Desmond Harrison, West Georgia
Harrison is on the older side, has trouble carrying weight and was dismissed from Texas, but he’s definitely athletic. And that gives him upside.
Round 6, 210th Overall Pick: Brett Toth, Army
Would the Patriots, with all of their Navy ties, really draft a player from Army? He’d be a project, but he’s an athletic option to take as a late-round flier.
Round 7, 219th Overall Pick: Greg Senat, Wagner
Senat started his college career as a basketball player before deciding to join the football team, where he played right tackle. There could be some untapped potential here.
Trade-up option: None
Mid-round option: Will Richardson, N.C. State
Richardson has great length with 35 1/4-inch arms, and he allowed just five total pressures in 2017. He reportedly visited the Patriots, who might have been doing some background research on the offensive tackle, who was suspended twice at N.C. State.