The New England Patriots are in the middle of their 2017 training camp, which has started in late July. Over the remainder of camp, the 90 players currently under contract with the team are now in the process of fighting for spots on either the 53-man roster or the 10-man practice squad.
As we have done throughout the offseason, we will continue to take a look at the men fighting for those few select spots on the 2017 Patriots – and to find out who will and might be asked to help the team defend its Super Bowl title.
Today, we will continue the series with one of the Patriots' offseason acquisitions.
Name: Lawrence Guy
Position: Defensive tackle
Jersey number: 93
Opening day age: 27
Size: 6'4, 305 lbs.
2016 review: Coming off the most productive season of his NFL career, Lawrence Guy was able to prove that his 2015 campaign was no fluke. For the second straight year, the former seventh round draft choice appeared in all 16 of the Baltimore Ravens' games as a defensive lineman that played everywhere from nose tackle to five-technique defensive end.
Because of this versatility, Guy was on the field for 486 of the Ravens' 1,047 defensive snaps (46.4%) and showed that a rotational role fit him well: According to analytics website Pro Football Focus, he finished the year as one of the top 25 interior run stoppers in the league. But while the majority of his action came against the ground game, Guy also was a productive interior penetrator.
Overall, he finished his sixth year in the NFL with 28 tackles – five of which for loss – a forced fumble and a fumble recovery. He also added a sack and nine additional quarterback hits, forced a fumble and recovered another one. In short: Guy was a productive defender for the Ravens no matter in which capacity and role the team opted to use him.
Guy, who has also been with the Green Bay Packers, Indianapolis Colts and San Diego Chargers over the course of his career, was not only a key cog in Baltimore's defensive machinery, he also saw considerable snaps on special teams. The Arizona State product played 124 of a possible 461 kicking game snaps (26.9%) as a protector and rusher on field goals and extra point attempts.
In the latter role he blocked an extra point in week two against the Cleveland Browns that led to two points for the Ravens. While it was the most noteworthy play of Guy's 2016 season, it was far from the only positive impact he has had on his team.
2017 preview: After the 2016 season, Lawrence Guy hit unrestricted free agency – and it did not take long for him to find a new home: On March 11, the New England Patriots signed him to a four-year contract worth a total of $20.0 million. The deal, which hits New England's salary cap with $2.6 million this season, makes Guy a lock to be on the defending world champions' 53-man roster in 2017.
Not only that, though, as Guy is projected to form a four-man rotation on the interior together with Malcom Brown, Alan Branch and Vincent Valentine. As such and given his versatility and experience against both the pass and the run, Guy should see considerable playing time no matter the situation. He should therefore once again play more than 40% of defensive snaps – if not more.
While especially Brown and Valentine are better suited to play the run, Guy is an all-around lineman and could be an intriguing option on passing downs as well. And even though the Patriots typically like to use their edge defenders (Trey Flowers, for example) on the interior in those situations, Guy has the burst to be employed in such a capacity as well.
No matter how the coaching staff ultimately opts to use him and his versatile skill set, Guy should prove himself an addition to an already talented defensive line.