The Patriots, in need of young offensive tackle talent, have shown pre-draft interest in Georgia tackle Broderick Jones, a projected early first-round pick.
But might they instead target his teammate who played on the other side of the line?
New England recently Zoom called with tackle prospect Warren McClendon, according to a Friday morning report from Justin Melo of The Draft Network. McClendon, listed at 6-foot-4 and 306 pounds, is a projected Day 3 pick.
Here’s what Dane Brugler of The Athletic wrote about McClendon in his new draft guide:
“A three-year starter at Georgia, McClendon was entrenched as the right tackle in former offensive coordinator Todd Monken’s balanced scheme. While not as praised as Georgia’s left tackles (Jamaree Salyer and Broderick Jones) the last two seasons, he didn’t allow a sack in 2021 or 2022 and was an important part of the Bulldogs’ back-to-back national titles. McClendon displays functional quickness off the ball with the initial steps and hand exchange to tie up rushers or fit his run blocks. However, he can be late to drop anchor and plays with below-average flexibility in his lower half, which creates soft edges for rushers when his two-hand strike doesn’t land. Overall, McClendon sees things quickly and plays with strong, physical hands. But with only average recovery balance, he has a small margin for error with his set points and technique. He is an average-twitch position blocker with little upside, but a chance to be a versatile tackle-guard backup.”
The Patriots currently have tackles Trent Brown, Conor McDermott, Calvin Anderson, Riley Reiff, Yodny Cajuste and Andrew Stueber on their roster. Isaiah Wynn remained an unrestricted free agent as of Friday afternoon.
The 2023 NFL Draft is scheduled to start next Thursday at 8 p.m. ET. You can click here for out latest Patriots mock draft.