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6 Days to the Draft: Oklahoma OT, Trent Williams

With the Draft fast approaching, it's time to start looking at some potential players for the Patriots. I'm going to put profiles of 2 players a day- one offense, one defensive- and gain a better understanding of the players in the draft.

The Patriots don't have an immediate need for a new offensive tackle, but with the expiring contract of Matt Light and the uninspiring play of Nick Kaczur, it appears as if the Patriots have a bigger hole on the offensive line than originally thought. Any tackle drafted by the Patriots would have the benefit of sitting a year and learning the system (barring any injuries that would require a Sebastian Vollmer style performance). Oklahoma's Trent Williams is one player who could greatly benefit from sitting on the Patriots bench and learning from line coach Dante Scarneccia. Williams is a great pass protector, but struggles with the run. He has played both right and left tackle and has the Vollmer style capability to play swing tackle if called upon. Williams has been projected anywhere from top 5 pick, to late first rounder. Is he worth a Patriots draft pick?

His measurements and some quotes after the jump. Scouting

Height: 6-5. Weight: 314.
Projected 40 Time: 5.27.
Combine 40 Time: 4.88.
Benchx225: 23. Arm: 34 1/4.

Player Comparison: Donald Penn. Penn is an athletic pass protector, but lacks a nasty demeanor against the run.

Click the link for a more in-depth player review! Scouting

03/26/2010 - TOP RATED NFL DRAFT SCOUT OFFENSIVE TACKLES: Trent Williams, Oklahoma, 6-5, 315, 1: A fluid and relentless athlete, Williams is especially impressive handling quick defensive ends because he has the footwork and body balance to stay with them. He validated that with impressive agility and position drills at the combine. While Williams appears to have enough strength to stop bull rushers, he is not always successful because he struggles to maintain a leverage position when attacked head on. The lone returning Sooners starter on the front line in 2009, he moved from right to left tackle and displayed an ability to recognize and react to various blitzes. According to coaching staff stats, Williams registered 369 knockdowns and 36 blocks that resulted in touchdowns in his final two seasons. - Frank Cooney, The Sports Xchange, Sports/USA TODAY

02/25/2010 - Trent Williams just got finished with his media interview. His answers may have provided the two most significant surprises of the day so far. For one, he measured in at 6-4 ("and a half") and 315 pounds. These numbers will ease concerns that Williams won't be able to handle playing outside. Scouts typically want tackles in the NFL to be at least 6-4. His arms measured in at 34. The reports I had received in the days prior to the Combine that Trent Williams would measure in short were obviously mistaken. Williams' size wasn't the only surprise of his interview. He also expressed that he felt more comfortable playing "on the left side" where he has played "all of his life." Williams, for the record, started all 13 games at left tackle in 2009, taking over for Phil Loadholt. Prior to this season, however, he'd started only the 2008 season opener at left tackle; the rest of his 25 career starts for the Sooners came at right tackle...Give Williams credit... He struggled early in the year making the adjustment to the left side, but was increasingly comfortable there as the season went on. I've spoken to scouts from various clubs who feel he can remain on the left side in the NFL. - Rob Rang, The Sports Xchange, Scouting

Williams is an intense run blocker that played on the left side his senior year but will find a better fit as a right tackle at the next level. He has good size, but could still add quite a bit of bulk after a few years in the NFL. He does a good job of playing over his feet on run blocks which allows him to sustain blocks and redirect with movement. Once he smells blood he will drive opponents into the ground. As a pass blocker he shows good technique but lacks the top lateral range to stay with premier pass rushers coming off the edge.

Click the link for a more in-depth player review!

Verdict: While I would love to have a player like Williams on our offensive line opposite of Vollmer, I don't see the value. We could get a bigger project OT later who we could train for the next season. Williams comes at too high of a cost- especially when the Patriots have such great needs in other positions. Look for us to pass on Williams- or trade down- if he's available at #22.