New England Patriots offensive guards in good shape after the 2020 NFL draft.
The offensive line is not a position that many fans like to focus on since the players who populate those positions are usually not household names. An article, however, has outlined why the offensive line after the quarterback is the most important component of any NFL team. This is the case for the New England Patriots.
Usually, the most well-known of those players is the offensive left tackle who protects the quarterback more than any other player. The guards are also important components and this article will check in how the Patriots offensive guard situation looks after the draft.
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Entering the draft, the New England Patriots may very have had the best duo of offensive guards in the National Football League. They had second-team All-Pro Joe Thuney, who was franchised at a very high one-year salary, and Shaq Mason who is also on a hefty more than $10M per year salary.
That’s a very good place to start, assuming that Thuney will be resigned to a long-term contract that dramatically reduces his cap hit.
A note about Thuney: last season the Patriots lost starting offensive left tackle, Isaiah Wynn, to an injury for a good part of the season. They had to go to the waiver wire to replace him. They didn’t very well.
Yet, their best option to replace Wynn while he was out, was Joe Thuney. They never used him. A big mistake.
Getting back to the guards, the Patriots had virtually no depth behind that duo after the season. Ted Karras who had been both the primary back-up guard and the back-up center has left in free agency. Behind him was basically no talent.
The Patriots recently signed Jermaine Eleumenor to a contract. He had been acquired from, the Ravens for a fourth-round pick (a sixth coming back to New England) during the season last year.
He was a complete flop and couldn’t even beat out James Ferentz a journeyman for the backup spot. He’s a non-factor in 2020 and a stark reminder of just how poorly Patriots personnel performed in their in-season trading. Abysmal. A fourth-round pick thrown away.
Behind him, there was basically no depth. The good news is, they have added to that depth in the draft. Michael Onwenu from Michigan was an excellent pick in the 6th round for New England. Overall, I gave their draft a D+ grade, because they left their offense well, with little. But at least they added a solid depth guy at guard.
They also added a tackle who is projected to guard in Justin Herron.
“Herron is flexible and athletic with the foot quickness to compete in a camp as a zone-blocking guard.” So Herron is another likely guard to help provide new depth.
In grading the post-draft Patriots guard situation, I’d have to give it an A-. It’s top-shelf with one caveat, Joe Thuney is resigned or plays under the franchise tag. If he goes, they are back to a very tenuous C+ and have to rely on either a rookie or a poor replacement. Not a great situation.