New England Patriots: Jon Halapio

Checking the locks: Patriots OL

July, 4, 2014
7/04/14
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As part of this slow time on the NFL calendar, when we'll be taking a break to recharge for the 2014 season, we introduce the pre-produced "checking the locks" series in which we analyze the players on the Patriots' roster who are "locks" to stick. It's offensive linemen on Thursday.

Sure-fire locks: LT Nate Solder, LG Logan Mankins, RT Sebastian Vollmer, OT/G Marcus Cannon, C Bryan Stork, RG Jon Halapio, RT Cameron Fleming

Near lock: G Josh Kline

Trying to get in the door: C Ryan Wendell, C/G Dan Connolly, C/G Braxston Cave, G Chris Barker, OT Jordan Devey, OT Chris Martin

Mankins
ANALYSIS: When it comes to competitions in training camp, offensive line is near the top of the list. Unlike last year, when the Patriots were combing the waiver wire in late August in hopes of finding some developmental blockers with upside, they are well-stocked to the point that incumbent starters Wendell and Connolly could feel pressure to keep top roles. It will all come down to how quickly draft picks such as Stork (fourth round, 105th overall) and Halapio (sixth round, 179th overall) develop and injuries, as well as how many offensive linemen the team ultimately decides to keep (anywhere between eight and 10). Wendell and Connolly have played plenty of good football for the Patriots, and are top-notch locker-room guys, so they warrant respect and should not be written off. But when a team drafts three offensive linemen, it's quite possible something will have to give somewhere along the line if everyone remains healthy.

New England Patriots draft wrap-up

May, 10, 2014
5/10/14
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NFC wrap-ups: East | West | North | South AFC: East | West | North | South


FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- A wrap-up of the New England Patriots' draft. Click here for a full list of Patriots draftees.

[+] EnlargeDominique Easley
Kevin C. Cox/Getty ImagesFlorida's Dominique Easley will be an impact talent for the Patriots if he can stay healthy.
Best move: Reinvesting in the offensive line. The Patriots hadn't drafted an offensive lineman in 2012 or 2013, but they triple-dipped with fourth-round center Bryan Stork (Florida State), fourth-round tackle Cameron Fleming (Stanford) and sixth-round right guard Jon Halapio (Florida). Time will tell if the picks were the right ones, but from a general standpoint, the Patriots needed to pay attention to the line both from an infusing-the-pipeline standpoint and also with salary cap integrity in mind. What stands out is the size of Stork (6-3 7/8, 315), Fleming (6-4 7/8, 323) and Halapio (6-3 1/2, 323). The Patriots added an element of offensive toughness in this draft, while also planning for the future. This is a big year for the team's offensive line as it transitions from former coach Dante Scarnecchia to Dave DeGuglielmo.

Riskiest move: Dominique Easley. The first-round defensive lineman is a big-time talent who wouldn't have been available at No. 29 if healthy. But he tore both ACLs at Florida and that affected his ability to work out at 100 percent in the pre-draft process. If Easley returns to full health, the Patriots' willingness to assume the risk could pay off in a big way as the team's interior pass rush could use a boost. But if problems crop up with Easley's knees, the Patriots might ultimately regret their willingness to invest such a high draft pick on an injured player.

Most surprising move: Dominique Easley. Wouldn't have thought the Patriots' selection of a player who tore both ACLs in a span of three years was an option in the first round. They generally don't assume that much risk with their top pick, which has contributed to their solid first-round draft record.

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What was the Patriots' best move in the 2014 NFL draft?

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File it away: All the angst that might have been expressed about the Patriots' selecting quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo with a late second-round pick (No. 62) will most likely be looked back upon with a chuckle. The biggest question from this perspective is if the Patriots passed on a player who might have helped them more immediately (e.g., Iowa tight end C.J. Fiedorowicz to the Texans three picks later), and that's going to be an interesting dynamic to follow in the years to come. But overall, there is no more important position than quarterback. The 2011 Colts are the prime example of a team that didn't address the backup spot and the bottom fell out of their season when starter Peyton Manning was lost for the season. People lost jobs because of it. The Colts were fortunate to wind up with the rare can't-miss prospect (Andrew Luck) the next year in the draft, but most teams aren't that lucky, so the Patriots were wise to be thinking ahead at a hard-to-fill position. It's just a bit jarring to hear the team acknowledge the possibility of a succession plan with Tom Brady, which is still four years away (if not longer) from this viewpoint.

Patriots pick Jon Halapio in 6th

May, 10, 2014
5/10/14
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FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- The pick: Jon Halapio, guard, Florida (179th).

My take: This is the third offensive lineman selected by the Patriots in the draft after the team didn't draft any blockers in 2012 and 2013. A big theme today for the team has been adding power and beef up front. With the 6-foot-3 1/2, 323-pound Halapio added to the fold, it could push starting veteran right guard Dan Connolly, who is scheduled to earn $3 million this season and count more than $4 million against the salary cap. The Patriots have given first-year offensive line coach Dave DeGuglielmo some young talent to work with and that will be an area to watch in 2014 -- how young players develop in the transition from retired line coach Dante Scarnecchia to DeGuglielmo.

A feel for Halapio: A team captain, Halapio proved his toughness at right guard by playing through a torn pectoral muscle in 2013. Similar to fourth-round pick Bryan Stork, he was given a low durability grade ("5") by Scouts Inc. because of a string of injuries. He is considered an aggressive and hard-nosed player.

Guard depth chart: Logan Mankins, Dan Connolly, Marcus Cannon, Josh Kline, Chris Barker, Jon Halapio

What's next: The Patriots have two more sixth-round picks (198, 206) and a seventh-rounder (244).

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