Despite already investing the 29th overall selection in the 2022 NFL Draft in an interior offensive lineman — Chattanooga guard Cole Strange — the New England Patriots went back to the well on the third day of the draft. With pick No. 210 in the sixth round, they brought LSU guard Chasen Hines aboard.
Hines has good size and positional flexibility, but he does come with some question marks. One of those is a comparatively long injury history.
2018 (LSU): Hines was hampered by a right knee injury throughout his true freshman year at LSU. He ended the season appearing in eight of a possible 13 games with one start.
2019 (LSU): Following his first season in Baton Rouge, Hines underwent surgery on his right knee. As a result of the procedure, he was limited throughout the offseason and into summer. Hines’ missed time prevented him from earning a starting spot as a sophomore and he ended the season as a backup along the interior O-line; he saw action in 10 of 15 contests but did not register any starts.
2020 (LSU): In mid-December versus Florida, Hines remained on the ground following a run play. The junior guard suffered an apparent left knee injury that would keep him out of the season finale versus Ole Miss the following week. To make matters worse, the injury happened on a touchdown run that was called back because of an offensive holding penalty. The player responsible? Hines himself.
2021 (LSU): Hines’ final season at LSU saw him suffer a minor undisclosed injury in preseason. While he missed some time due to the issue, he was back on the field in time for the season opener versus UCLA.
One week later, Hines was a no-show again. He had to sit out the Week 2 game versus McNeese State for undisclosed reasons.
Hines had to leave a mid-October game against Florida in the first quarter. A lower leg injury originally suffered in pregame forced him to depart the game after just 11 snaps. He was out the following week versus Ole Miss, returned for one game against Alabama, and then sat out three more contests before returning for the season finale versus Kansas State. In total, Hines therefore missed five of 13 games during his final season in college.
What it means for the Patriots
Hines missed six games over the last two years due to injury, and his history of knee issues is a concern. New England’s medical staff did not disqualify him as a potential draft target, though, and the team appears to be confident in his ability to physically be ready for the NFL game.
Whether or not he will be remains to be seen, but coming from the SEC Hines should be well-prepared. The fact that he projects as a backup in 2022 rather than an every-down starter should also help his transition to the pro game and the physical challenges it presents especially for a player who suffered multiple minor injuries through his time in college.
How would you grade the Patriots’ selection of G Chasen Hines at No. 210?
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