Former North Carolina State, and now current New England Patriot's center Ted Larsen is a great value pick. I had him tacked with 5th round quality and the fact that we snagged him in the 6th makes me extremely happy. Larsen is oft ranked the 3rd best center in the draft (behind Maurkice Pouncey and Matt Tennant) and has an extremely high ceiling. He's played center for two seasons after playing defensive tackle for his first two.
With growing questions about Dan Koppen's longevity and how much longer he has in our system, it seems fitting that the Patriots grabbed one of the most promising players of the position. Larsen is still an extremely raw project who would do well to sit behind Koppen for at least two years while he gains knowledge of the game. This selection provides us with a tremendous quantity of youthful depth for our offensive line- with Larsen joining the ranks of Dan Connolly, Rich Ohrnberger and George Bussey as recent additions.
More information after the jump!
Pass blocking: Capable shotgun and typical snapper. Struggled some with high snaps early in the season, but developed more consistency as he gained experience.
Run blocking: Good initial quickness and upper-body strength to knock the defender off the ball. Good explosive initial pop, but must do a better job of sustaining
Pulling/trapping: Not asked to pull from his center position much in this offense, but has experience at guard and has the short-area quickness and agility to do so
Initial Quickness: Quick first step in reverse in pass protection to catch the defensive tackle
Downfield: Surprisingly efficient footwork in getting to the second level.
Intangibles: Former defensive tackle who made the switch to center at his coaches' request. Earned degree in History in May of 2009. Recipient of the team's Jim Ritcher Award as the Most Outstanding Offensive Lineman after his first season after the conversion from defensive tackle. Gives good effort on every snap. High intensity player.
Summary: Larsen projects as additional interior line depth for this upcoming season- and even if Koppen goes down, I would expect Connolly to step in. Larsen benefits from having played on the opposite side of the ball for a couple years so he has "inside information" on how players might attack the offensive line. So don't expect Larsen to step into a starting role immediately, but expect him to be a valuable contributor down the road.