208. Thomas Welch, OT Vanderbilt
Players left: OLB Chris McCoy, OT Kyle Calloway, TE Dorin Dickenson,
- Can play both LT and RT, but provides a better body for RT.
- Doesn't need to be thrust into a starting role and can sit for a year or two until he learns the role and picks up NFL speed.
- High potential and was graded as a solid performer in college.
- Won most of his blocks while in college.
- Traded #229 and and #231 to move up to #208.
- Small injury history.
Summary: A project player at this point in the draft. The Patriots decided that they might as well package their late picks to grab Welch instead of entering the off-season with 13 draft picks. No pressure on this selection.
Final Player Grade: B+. At this point in the draft, the Patriots are just drafting best player available. Welch may or may not fill a need; I fully expect the Patriots to draft an OT next draft in the 2nd round.
Final Draft Pick Grade: B+. Had to trade up to grab him, but I'm not going to penalize the Patriots. No need to draft 13 players, especially when the Patriots had three later picks.