With the 105th overall pick in the draft yesterday, the New England Patriots selected Bryan Stork, out of Florida State. Stork is an interior lineman, which was something the Pats needed to address in this draft. Here is my grade of this pick:
One of the biggest problems this Patriots team has faced over the last couple of years has been its ability (or lack thereof) to protect Tom Brady up the middle, in the postseason. If it weren’t for that, Brady would have at least five Super Bowl wins, possibly more. So drafting Stork was a good idea by Bill Belichick and the Pats.
As a player, I think Stork has a lot of talent. I mean, he did win the Rimington Award last year, which is the award given to the best center in college football. Here is a quick breakdown from CBS Sports of Stork’s strengths:
Tenacious and technically-sound center whose awareness and reliability made him an underrated factor in Jameis Winston’s Heisman campaign. Very good initial quickness, whether snapping the ball out of shotgun or the traditional exchange and turning to seal off defenders or releasing to block downfield. Shoots his hands into the chest plate of defenders and plays with his knees bent and butt down, maximizing his leverage.
Alert and active. Seeks out extra opponents to block and switches quickly to handle stunts and blitzes. The unquestioned leader of the Seminoles’ offensive line. Leaves FSU with 40 career starts, including five at right guard and one at left guard. Also practiced at tackle prior to the 2012 season.
I don’t know if Stork has the talent to overtake Ryan Wendell’s starting job this year, but I do think he will work hard, and push Wendell to the limit for it. At worst, he will be groomed as the Pats center of the future, and at the same time provide great depth in case of any injuries (which we know will hurt the Pats once again).
Overall Grade: B+