Patriots Roster Prediction #53: G/C Rich Ohrnberger

Player Name: G/C Rich Ohrnberger

Experience: 4th round pick from the 2009 NFL Draft; 1 year of Pro experience. Active in 3 games and saw time on special teams.

Past Role: Last season, Ohrnberger saw limited playing time due to the high level of performance by both Stephen Neal and Logan Mankins. When Neal was out with his annual injury, Dan Connolly filled the Right Guard position admirably. In a few snaps (6 according to Pro Football Focus), Ohrnberger played RG while Connolly stepped back and played Fullback. The Patriots traded up in the 2009 Draft to secure Ohrnberger's selection, but he was unable to claim the starting back-up role on the depth chart.

Ohrnberger was drafted as a guard, but also went through Center training during his first off-season with the Patriots. His versatility absolutely led to his roster spot.

Predicted Role: Ohrnberger will most likely provide back-up depth at both the Guard and Center position. He won't, and shouldn't, be the top back-up, since that position is most likely locked up by Super-Sub Dan Connolly. With 2010 Draft 6th Round pick Ted Larsen fighting for the same position (Larsen is a drafted center, groomed guard, like Ohrnberger was a guard, groomed center), expect Ohrnberger to be on the roster bubble.

Since both Ohrnberger and Larsen are late round selections, don't expect either to see preferential treatment, or any "learning curve" time given to higher draft picks (see: Brace, Ron). Whichever player is better, expect them to make the roster. I believe that Ohrnberger's experience in the system gives him the edge. Expect Larsen on the Practice Squad (or to make the roster, and then get moved to the Practice Squad when Wes Welker returns from his injury).

Predicted Season Numbers: 0 Starts. I hope he doesn't start and, barring injury, there shouldn't be a reason for him to start. Look for Ohrnberger to make some appearances in blow out games (here's to a lot of blow outs!).

Predicted Depth Chart: #3 Center and #3 Guard.

Summary: Look for Ohrnberger to continue what he did last season. He'll ride the pine, unless injuries force him on the field. He'll fight Larsen for a roster spot and should provide solid offensive line depth and versatility.

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