New England Patriots 2015 NFL Draft and Beyond

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Jan 24, 2015; Mobile, AL, USA; South squad offensive guard Shaq Mason of Georgia Tech (70) enters the field during player introductions before the Senior Bowl at Ladd-Peebles Stadium. The North won, 34-13. Mandatory Credit: Glenn Andrews-USA TODAY Sports

4th Round (131st Overall) – Shaq Mason (OL, Georgia Tech)


Making as second dip into a deep interior offensive line class, the Patriots snagged center Shaq Mason at #131 overall. Mason is a straight-A run blocker who hardly was called upon in the passing game while starting three years at Georgia Tech and their triple-option offense. Mason is not huge as he is just six-foot-one and 300 pounds, but he is strong and knows how to generate leverage. He fires off the ball on tape and flashes impressive agility and athleticism.


2015 Role:

Mason is a project who has to learn how to pass block. Offensive line coach Dan DeGuglielmo is going to have to mold and coach Mason into a pass blocker. If Ryan Wendell sticks at right guard, expect Mason to be the heir apparent. The 2015 season will see Mason add some bulk and learn to pass block in practice. He should be on the field for special teams and possibly in a jumbo package near the goal line with his run block skills.


2016 and Beyond:

Wendell is a free agent after 2015 and Mason should be ready to step in during year two to contribute inside. His run blocking alone is already NFL starter caliber and if he improves in pass blocking he could be a solid option at guard. He has experience at center as well and would add depth behind Stork. Beyond 2015 Mason should be expected to carve out a starting role in New England.


Similar pick in the past:

Bryan Stork was a potential top fifty draft pick who tumbled to the fourth round and was snagged by New England. Stork proved his value anchoring the center position as a rookie and leading New England to a Super Bowl championship after rescuing an offensive line in shambles. Mason tumbled down the draft board simply because he was unproven as a pass blocker while Stork was overlooked due to the undervaluing of the center position.