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Patriots NFL Draft Prospect: OT Derek Sherrod, Mississippi State

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Name: OT Derek Sherrod

School: Mississippi State

Size: 6'5, 321 lbs

Expected Round: 1st

3 Cone: 7.43s

Career Stats: Click Here (1 season starting at RT, 3 at LT)

Player Previews: CBS; Walter Football; NFL Combine [If you would like your website included, please e-mail me!]

Strengths: Solid frame for an NFL tackle. Team captain with plenty of experience. Rated as one of the most certain of the top tackle prospects, with one of the highest floors. Great leverage against speed rushers and can slide and mirror their movements. Does a good job of holding the pocket. High caliber player off the field. Great recognition of defensive schemes that he's facing and can react accordingly.

Weaknesses: Not bulky enough to be an elite run blocking tackle in the NFL. Doesn't play with a lot of attitude. Sometimes gets high in his stance and loses leverage as the play wears on, or as he blocks in the second level. Might not have much upside. Doesn't finish all the way through with his blocks in the run game. Needs to get stronger against the bull rush and will struggle to push back against a bull rusher, which is why his potentially maxed out frame is a worry.

Why and Why Not the Patriots after the jump, and my final verdict!

Why the Patriots?: Sherrod is one of the most certain tackle prospects in the draft and could step onto the field and contribute from Week 1. He may never become a Jake Long or a Joe Thomas, but he could possibly be a Matt Light as a more than solid, but not overly spectacular, tackle. He can play both right tackle and left tackle, which adds versatility. He's a high quality player and person with a lot of experience on the field.

Why Not the Patriots?: Sherrod lacks the upside of a Castonzo, Smith, or Solder. He lacks the complete versatility of a Carimi. As a result, his value decreases with the Patriots. They have the luxury to develop a tackle, so taking one near their peak won't do much good for the future. He can be a solid contributor, but taking a first rounder with questionable upside at a potentially not-a-need position is not a good pick.

Verdict: I think Sherrod could have some relative success in the NFL, but I don't see him developing into one of the elites of the league. He'll be a solid contributor and long term starter, but he won't be wowing many teams. I don't think he'll be taken by the Patriots due to his lack of total upside, but he's still a solid player.

There are no cut-ups, but you can watch the following games:

Mississippi State vs Ole Miss

Mississippi State vs Arkansas

Mississippi State vs Alabama