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Stork trade sets up how the Patriots 2016 Offensive Line will look out of camp

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With David Andrews winning the center competition, the Patriots have now likely settled on their starting 5 offensive lineman for Week 1. Against the Arizona Cardinals, the Patriots will likely use a Nate Solder-Joe Thuney-David Andrews-Josh Kline-Marcus Cannon combination. At some point later in the season, we'll see Shaq Mason return at right guard unless Kline is able to shake off the shoulder injury and play like he did the first half of 2015. For 2016, we should expect the left side of the line to play well and the right side to be somewhat of a wildcard with maligned veterans who have gotten the job done before.

Behind the starting five and the injured Shaq Mason, I think the Patriots carry 8 healthy lineman into the first game of the year. With Josh Kline starting at right guard, the Patriots have the need for someone who can backup all 3 IOL spots. An injury to Andrews would move Kline from guard to center, because a 4-year veteran is someone I would trust at the pivot more than a rookie in Thuney or Ted Karras. Stork's release also means that Karras has an open lane to a roster spot. Initially I thought of him as a practice squad candidate, but it looks like he'll make the roster. Once Mason returns, I'll be surprised if Karras sticks long after that.

At the tackle position, the Patriots have La'Adrian Waddle and Cameron Fleming. Due to Sebastian Vollmer's uncertain availability, Waddle is now a lock to make the roster. The only question is if the Patriots carry Fleming or an extra interior lineman with Mason out for possibly the first month of the season. Right now I see the Patriots carrying eight healthy offensive lineman to start the season. I'm not sure who the 8th offensive lineman will be, but as is, the Patriots will likely carry Jonathan Cooper as the 8th offensive line although he needs to get healthy because that leaves the Patriots a bit thin inside.

I will leave my OL prediction with Nate Solder, Joe Thuney, David Andrews, Shaq Mason, Marcus Cannon, Josh Kline, La'Adrian Waddle, Jonathan Cooper, and Ted Karras making the initial 53 man roster. Vollmer will start the year on PUP and his return will be predicated on his recovery from the various ailments that affect him. If Cannon plays well at right tackle, I'll be shocked if Vollmer starts over him.