After going all-defense with their first three picks of the 2023 NFL Draft, the New England Patriots decided to kick off Round 4 by finally addressing the offensive side of the ball. The pick they made did not fill one of their oft-spoken-about needs such as offensive tackle or wide receiver, but rather bolstered the depth along the interior offensive line.
Troy product Jake Andrews will likely serve in a backup capacity early on his career. What else does he bring to the table, though? Let’s find out.
Name: Jake Andrews
Position: Center/Interior offensive line
Opening day age: 23
Size: 6’2 3/4”, 305 lbs, 78” wing span, 31 7/8” arm length, 10” hand size
Workout numbers: 5.15s 40-yard dash, 4.73s short shuttle, 7.77 3-cone drill, 26” vertical jump, 8’6” broad jump, 29 bench press reps, 7.51 Relative Athletic Score
A four-year varsity high school at Stanhope Elmore in Millbrook, Alabama, Andrews played on both sides of the ball before leaving for college. A four-star recruit, he received several offers but remained committed to the first he received; joining Troy in 2018 and never looking back — despite playing just three games as a freshman before redshirting. By his second and especially his third seasons, however, he was well-established.
Andrews served as a reserve center in 2019 before taking over as the team’s right guard in 2020. He started 23 games at the position over the next three years, before moving back to center for his 2022 senior campaign. Working under former Patriots offensive line coach Cole Popovich that season, he started all 14 of the Trojans’ games and earned first-team All-Sun Belt Conference honors. He gave up four sacks and 19 total quarterback pressures along the way, per Pro Football Focus.
Pick: 4-107 | Consensus big board: 237
Strengths: At just under 6-foot-3 and 305 pounds, Andrews has good build and offers a stout anchor; he is not easily pushed. His wrestling background shines through regularly: he knows how to out-leverage defenders and how to properly place his hands; if his first punch hits the mark to quickly to allow him to play off that experience. He has performed well on double-team blocks, plays with a blue-collar attitude, and has shown the ability to perform both at center and guard.
Jake Andrews, 107th overall:— Justin Trombino (@Trombino20) April 29, 2023
Positional versatility, strong, fast.
Backup to David Andrews pic.twitter.com/SNT2CNQPVZ
Weaknesses: Andrews’ athleticism can best be described as “average.” He is not the most fluid mover in space and lacks the short-area skills to regularly adjust when at the second level. He sometimes appears to not play instinctively enough, and takes too long to react — something that, at least in 2022, might have had to do with him seeing extensive action at center for the first time in three years. On top of that, his lack of length might be an issue against bigger interior linemen who can easier disengage from him.
What will be his role in 2023? With David Andrews at center as well as Cole Strange and Michael Onwenu manning the left and right guard spots, respectively, the Patriots are well-set along their starting interior offensive line. The rookie Andrews will therefore not be asked to play a prominent role, but rather to serve as depth at all three spots while maybe also contributing on special teams.
What is his growth potential? Andrews’ outlook is closely tied to the players ahead of him on the depth chart. While Cole Strange should be set at left guard for at least the next three seasons, the center-right guard duo is a question mark. David Andrews will turn 31 this summer and is under contract for two more years; Michael Onwenu will hit free agency next March. This means that there is potential for Andrews to learn behind the scenes and maybe take over a prominent role as early as 2024.
Does he have positional versatility? Within the realm of the interior offensive line, he has. In his three seasons as a starter for the Trojans, Andrews played a combined 1,578 snaps at right guard, 914 at center, and even 10 at left guard. In addition, he projects as a member of New England’s field goal and extra point protection units.
What adding him means for the depth chart: With Andrews in the fold — as well as fellow draftees Sidy Sow and Atonio Mafi — the other interior offensive linemen on the roster will be on high alert: James Ferentz, Chasen Hines, Kody Russey and Bill Murray might be fighting for practice squad spots, at best. While only Andrews and Sow are de facto roster locks based on their draft status, the Patriots keeping more than 10 total O-lineman on their active team still seems unlikely.
One-sentence verdict: He might have been an overdraft compared to the consensus board, but the Patriots clearly saw something in Andrews worth working with.