Patriots select center Bryan Stork in 4th

May, 10, 2014
FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- The pick: Bryan Stork, center, Florida State (105th)

My take: The Patriots re-signed starting center Ryan Wendell to a two-year contract this offseason, but the sense all along was that competition was still likely to be added. It comes in the form of Stork, who at 6-foot-3 7/8 and 315 pounds brings a bigger body type to the position (Wendell is 6-2, 300). The Patriots have been vulnerable at times to inside pressure (think AFC championship game vs. Broncos), especially against bigger nose tackles, and Stork could ultimately be part of the solution. Stork's injury history caught my attention in pre-draft study, as he was graded a "4" in the durability category by Scouts Inc., but the Patriots are obviously comfortable with it.

Thinking from an opponent's perspective: What's the best way to get to Tom Brady? Straight up the middle, to move him off the spot. Attempting to upgrade the center spot potentially puts the Patriots in a better position to counter that.

Center depth chart: Ryan Wendell (6th year), Bryan Stork (rookie), Chris Barker (2nd year), Braxston Cave (1st year)

What's next: The Patriots have two more fourth-round picks -- 130th and 140th. The 140th pick is a compensatory selection at the end of the round that can't be traded.

Mike Reiss

ESPN New England Patriots reporter



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