Wednesday, April 30, 2014
Beyond the 1st round: Offensive tackle
By Mike Reiss
With so much attention placed on the first round in mock drafts, the "beyond the first round" series shined the spotlight on lesser-publicized options beyond the first 32 picks. The series was met with positive feedback with one exception -- where are the offensive tackles? Because offensive tackles are people too, this will be our final entry in the series:
Ju'Wuan James proved himself to be a model of dependability at Tennessee, the kind of quality the Patriots look for in an offensive tackle.
Second round:Ja'Wuan James (Tennessee)
The 6-foot-6, 311-pound James started every game of his college career (49), which is the type of dependability and consistency the Patriots generally value. James held his own against top competition and could be the team's swing tackle initially and provide insurance should right tackle Sebastian Vollmer encounter any setbacks in his recovery from a broken leg.
Third round:Ryan Groy (Wisconsin)
He set Wisconsin's record by playing in 54 career games and has experience at tackle, guard and center. The 6-foot-4 5/8 and 316 pound Groy is said to be an intelligent player and while he might be viewed as more of a guard, he has the versatility to potentially back up at right tackle.
Fourth round:Billy Turner (North Dakota State)
The 6-foot-4 7/8 and 315 pound Turner excelled at a lower-level division and his 25 reps on the bench press highlight his strength. He has other desirable physical traits (e.g. 34-inch arm length and 10-inch hand size) that figure to appeal to some teams looking for a potential developmental swing tackle.
Fifth round:Michael Schofield (Michigan)
A tackle-guard, the 6-foot-6 1/2 and 301 pound Schofield played right tackle the final two years of his career, moving over from left guard. His 34-inch arm length is notable.
Sixth round:Matt Patchan (Boston College)
The 6-foot-6 1/4, 302-pound Patchan transferred to BC from Florida in 2013 to play for coach Steve Addazio and has experience at both tackle spots. His injury history could lead some teams to have concerns.
Seventh round:Jeremiah Sirles (Nebraska)
With experience at both tackle spots, the 6-foot-6, 315-pound Sirles started for three years and his combination of size, arm length and intangibles make him a prospect worthy of consideration this deep into the draft.
(Round projections aided by Scouts Inc., NFL.com and independent analysis.)