More Patriots Free Agent Visits: Matt Shaughnessy, Shelley Smith

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

The New England Patriots are staying active on day two of NFL Free Agency, and will host two more players according to various reports: defensive end Matt Shaughnessy and guard Shelley Smith.

The New England Patriots are staying active on day two of NFL Free Agency, and will host two more players according to various reports: defensive end Matt Shaughnessy and guard Shelley Smith.

Smith, 26, was a sixth round draft choice of the Houston Texans in 2010. He spent the last two seasons with the St. Louis Rams, starting six games in 2013. In ProFootballFocus.com's analysis, in 371 total snaps last season, he graded out as a great run blocker (+12.3) but a suspect pass protector (-6.0). He could be a viable option for the right guard spot if Ryan Wendell leaves (with a switch of Dan Connolly back to center). Smith will also visit the Giants today.

Shaughnessy is a big (6'5", 285 lbs) defensive lineman who spent 2013 with the Arizona Cardinals after spending the first four years of his career with the Oakland Raiders. Having started 28 total games the last two seasons, Shaughnessy would bring valued experience to the defensive line, as he also has experience in multiple schemes. He's graded out very positively as a run defender according to ProFootballFocus.com, but has just 18.5 sacks on his career. If the Patriots brought him in, it would likely be to have him play on early downs. Such a scenario would take some of the pressure off Rob Ninkovich and Chandler Jones, and would allow them to stay fresh for passing downs.

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