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NFL Draft Prospect Profile: North Dakota State OT Joe Haeg

Haeg was one of the key pieces for a North Dakota State dynasty in the FCS.

Glenn Andrews-USA TODAY Sports

There is a need for the Patriots to find their starting RT for the 2017 season and they typically address future needs like that with the draft. Without a first round pick, the Patriots won't have a shot at guys like Jason Spriggs or Taylor Decker at the position, but there still is value in the 2nd round. One example being North Dakota State LT Joe Haeg. Haeg is a former walk-on that has blossomed into an NFL caliber prospect over the last three years. Even though he comes from an FCS program, it's an FCS program that has won 5 straight championships.

Haeg fulfills all the athletic and size requirements that I want for tackle prospects, although he barely passes the test in terms of length. The Patriots require their tackles to make multiple blocks from odd angles in addition to being able to pull on outside runs, which Haeg shows the ability to do so. North Dakota State runs a Pro-Style offense, so there isn't a big learning curve compared to prospects that come from the Big 12 or other spread-shotgun offenses. The Patriots don't need him to be a starter in 2016, but he presents someone who can serve as possible 2016 depth in case of an injury.

My two biggest concerns are body, anchor strength, and competition level. Those are things that can be fixed with strong coaching, which he'll get with Dante Scarnecchia returning as the Patriots OL coach. One of Haeg's weaknesses is he can be bull-rushed a bit by stronger defensive ends and the edge rushers he'll see in the NFL are a giant leap from what he saw at Montana, Montana State, and other FCS programs. A good strength and conditioning program should fix the first two concerns, especially given how much I've heard he's worked hard to get to this point.

In terms of overall value, I see him as a Day 2 pick. I would not be surprised if the Patriots reached for him at 60, although I have a 3rd Round Grade, but the potential to deliver 2nd Round value to the team. He could plug and play if an injury occurred, although the best plan would be to develop his body in Year 1 then make him compete for the RT spot in Year 2. There's a good chance that Haeg might not be available at the 92nd pick and the Patriots will play the percentages what's behind him and the chances of them being able to get a similar player with their next pick. I have him projected to go at 60 for now.