Ever since the veteran, Matt Light, retired from the Patriots offensive line the tackle spot has been a question mark on this team. With Sebastian Vollmer constantly on the disabled list it is hard to be overly confident with the tackles heading into the 2014 season. Left dive into the New England Patriots offensive tackle depth heading into the 2014 season.
LT) Nate Solder
Since being drafted in the first round by the New England Patriots in 2011, Solder has been pretty valuable on the line. Solder has started all but one game since being drafted. Solder is a big 314 pound tackle who can open up lots of lanes for running backs. Solder, 26, will be entering his fourth season as a starter on the Patriots offensive line.
My 2014 Nate Solder Projection: N/A
Note: Nate Solder will be a Pro-Bowler
Vollmer was in and out of the Patriots offensive line rotation last year as he was dealing with back trouble.
In 2010, Vollmer started 16 games for the Patriots and made the Second-team All-Pro so the ability is there for the 29-year-old. Ability is great but durability is what keeps you on the field.
My 2014 Sebastian Vollmer Projection: N/A
What a great player Cannon is for the New England Patriots. Cannon has shown the ability to play all along the offensive line and has held up pretty well. Cannon’s 363 pound body is a tough one to move along the line.
-Cannon also plays offensive guard but if we’re judging by depth, he is the third tackle into any game.
My 2014 Marcus Cannon Projection: N/A
In all honesty, I think the big-bodied Fleming will win the spot to be the fourth offensive tackle heading into the 2014 season. Fleming is big, thickly built, experienced right tackle who graduated with a degree in aeronautics and astronautics and entered the draft early despite standing to benefit from another year of seasoning on The Farm. Has size and smarts to stick in a power/slide-protection scheme, but needs to make strides with his functional strength, technique and aggressiveness. Could be tried inside.
Since he was taken in the 4th round, 140th overall, the Patriots will want to do all they can to make him into a serviceable player for them.
My 2014 Cameron Flemming Projection: N/A
Key losses at offensive tackle:
*Will Svitek- Last season was Svitek’s only one in New England. He was a good back-up and was active for 13 games and started 2 of them.
<blockquote class=”twitter-tweet” lang=”en”>
— Cincinnati Bengals (@Bengals) June 11, 2014
Offensive tackles on current roster who need to fight for their spot:
Patriots OT Depth Chart Grade and Reason: B
I give them a B at this position because they are yet to have one of their tackles step up and really take charge. Vollmer and Solder are two guys with a boat load of talent but injuries could haunt both. If both stay healthy with Gronk at TE, big gaps could emerge for the Patriots running game this season.