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2018 NFL draft: Patriots to host one of the top offensive tackle prospects on a visit today

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The Patriots are certainly in the market for a tackle.

Kansas State v Texas Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images

Ever since Nate Solder left the New England Patriots to become the NFL's highest-paid offensive lineman with the New York Giants, the team has an obvious need to fill at the left tackle spot. While the Patriots have plenty of options from LaAdrian Waddle to Antonio Garcia to lesser-known players like Cole Croston or Andrew Jelks, they certainly are in the market for more depth at the position.

The 2018 draft class at offensive tackle lacks the high-end talent of previous years but still offers some starting-caliber players. One of them is Texas' Connor Williams, who will visit the Patriots today (according to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport) – one of 30 total visits each team can hold during the pre-draft process of scouting and working out players.

At 6'5, 300 lbs, Williams is a downgrade from Solder – at least when it comes to size. On tape, he still offers some of the same intriguing traits that made his potential predecessor a first-round selection seven years ago: The 20-year old is a rare athlete for a player his size and enters the draft with a sound technique in both his pass protection sets and as a run blocker.

Williams also comes with plenty of experience after having started 28 games for the Longhorns over the last three years. After an All-American campaign in 2016, however, he failed to build on his outstanding sophomore season: Williams appeared in only five games in 2017 after suffering a meniscus tear, as well as sprains of his MCL and PCL tendons.

Despite that, though, it would not be a surprise to see him become a possible selection late in round one or early in round two – an area where New England owns two picks – and day-one starter further down the line.