ESPN Names Patriots 'Best Fit' for Top Remaining Free Agent

There are still multiple players on the free agent market and the New England Patriots are named the top choice for a particular offensive lineman.
May 11, 2024; Foxborough, MA, USA; New England Patriots head coach Jerod Mayo holds a press
May 11, 2024; Foxborough, MA, USA; New England Patriots head coach Jerod Mayo holds a press / Eric Canha-USA TODAY Sports

The offseason has been a complete overhaul for the New England Patriots. With Jerod Mayo and Eliot Wolf now leading the charge, the Pats have made a boatload of moves.

They made plenty of in-house signings, retaining Mike Onwenu, Hunter Henry, and Kendrick Bourne. New England continued to add talent to its roster, headlined by selecting Drake Maye with the third overall pick.

Despite all the moves New England made, they could still add more reinforcements along the offensive line and the Pats have some options on the free-agent market.

ESPN's Matt Bowen dropped an article (subscription needed) naming the best team fit for the remaining free agents.

Bowen listed former Kansas City Chief offensive lineman Donovan Smith as the best fit for the Patriots.

This offseason, the Pats signed Chukwuma Okorafor to a one-year deal then drafted Penn State tackle Caedan Wallace in the third round of the 2024 NFL Draft.

Even with those two moves, they could still use some protection upfront for either Jacoby Brissett or Maye, and Smith is their best option available.

Bowen said, "But Smith would provide good competition for the left tackle spot and, at worst, depth. He started for the Chiefs in the Super Bowl last season, and he posted a pass block win rate of 90.8% while allowing six sacks over 438 pass-block reps."

The nine-year vet has suited up in at least 12 games every season and would step into the locker room with playoff experience.

Over the past three seasons, Smith has only allowed nine total sacks and would immediately compete for a starting role in 2024.

He also wouldn't cost much to bring in. Smith would have the opportunity to step in to help solidify the trenches.

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