In the days leading up to the NFL draft, ESPNBoston.com will identify players who project as solid fits for the Patriots:
Player: John Moffitt
Listed height/weight: 6-foot-4 1/4, 319 pounds
Scouts Inc. rank: 6th at guard (scouting report)
Draft projection: Third round
Why he’s on our list: Big, tough, physical and versatile, he was a team captain and his personality would seem to fit well with the Patriots' tight-knit offensive line group.
Recommended link: Bill Cloutier of the New Haven (Conn.) Register writes on Moffitt, a Connecticut native, and how he was happy he stayed in college for his senior season.
Key stat: Primarily played center in 2008 before switching to left guard in 2009 and 2010. Has 42 career starts.
Workout stat: Clocked 4.53 in the 20-yard short shuttle at the Combine, the best time of any guard.
Steve Muench of Scouts Inc.: "Moffitt is not the most physically gifted interior offensive lineman in his class. His athletic ability and power are just average, but he's a scrapper who grows on you the more you watch his film. He walls off defenders long enough for backs to find seams as a run blocker and fights to stay in front of defenders in pass protection. In addition, his 2010 Ohio State film is far better than his 2009 film in terms of his tenacity and toughness. Finally, there is a lot to like about his versatility. While he primarily lined up at guard, he has 15 career starts at center. New England would do well to land Moffitt with its first pick in the third round because I think he's capable of pushing for early playing time at guard. He could also move to center when the time comes for Dan Koppen, who turns 32 this year and enters the last year of his contract, is no longer around. Selecting Moffitt would give the Patriots the freedom to take the best available interior offensive lineman in 2012 if they don't address the center position this year."