FOXBORO, Mass. — Chukwuma Okorafor signed with the New England Patriots this offseason because he felt it gave him a chance to compete for a job.

Okorafor, though, was never flat-out told that job would be to play left tackle.

“I didn’t really know for sure,” Okorafor said at Gillette Stadium on Monday. “I was never told I could get a job at left or right, but I knew I had a chance to fight for a job. And that was really the main thing for me.”

Okorafor signed a one-year deal in New England after six seasons in Pittsburgh. He did so before the Patriots re-signed right tackle Mike Onwenu and before New England drafted offensive tackle Caedan Wallace and guard Layden Robinson.

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Okorafor played right tackle throughout his Steel City tenure and did not cross-train behind the scenes. The last time he played left tackle was at Western Michigan before he was a third-round pick in 2018.

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With footwork and hand placement some key challenges in the switch, Okorafor does not envision a seamless transition.

“I think it takes time,” Okorafor said. “I’m trying to learn left, as of now. I’m trying to learn a whole new playbook. I’m trying to learn a whole new city, a whole new town. So it’s new to me now.”

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Eliot Wolf, the Patriots executive vice president of player personnel, and first-year head coach Jerod Mayo expressed confidence Okorafor can make the transition. The soft-spoken Okorafor said he’s confident, too.

“If I knew I couldn’t do it, I wouldn’t have chosen to do it,” Okorafor said. “So it’s going to take time, but I know who I am and I know what I can and can’t do.”

Okorafor’s level of confidence was not overwhelming, however. Again, he was the one to pump the brakes on a riding-a-bike transition. It came across much different than Wallace, who said he does not think moving from right tackle at Penn State to left tackle in New England will be an overwhelming challenge.

Okorafor served as the starting left tackle during Day 1 of OTAs on Monday. Vederian Lowe and Wallace were behind him. But the comments from Okorafor probably won’t make Patriots fans feel any better about New England’s biggest question mark.

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Featured image via Charles LeClaire/USA TODAY Sports Images