Opening day countdowns are great. So are player profiles. Here at Musket Fire, we decided to combine them and create a Week 1 countdown-oriented, jersey number-dictated player profile series. Yesterday, we looked at No. 62 Ryan Wendell, and the day before that it was No. 63 Tre’ Jackson. Because today marks 61 days until the New England Patriots open 2015, we are profiling No. 61, offensive lineman Marcus Cannon.
Taken by the Patriots with the 138th pick in the 2011 NFL Draft, Cannon was one of the highest-rated guard prospects in his class. The reason he fell to the fifth round was the non-Hodgin lymphoma that was discovered in Cannon’s pre-draft physical.
As a result of the chemotherapy treatment he underwent to address the lymphoma, Cannon began his rookie year on the non-football injury list. He went on to appear in seven games in 2011, and was the Patriots’ recipient for the Ed Block Courage Award.
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In the past three seasons, Cannon has been a sort of sixth man in the offensive line rotation. He’s played in 46 regular season games, starting 11 of those contests.
With four full seasons to analyze, we know that Cannon is best suited at tackle. Nate Solder and Sebastian Vollmer are certainly more dependable on the outside, but Cannon is a decent backup option in the event that one of those guys gets injured.
During the Patriots’ turbulent 2-2 start to 2014, however, Cannon was the starting left guard. And it did not go well. When Bryan Stork was inserted into the lineup in Week 5, it allowed the Patriots to shift Cannon out of the starting lineup and back to tackle depth, and the entire offensive line benefitted.
On the whole, Cannon’s place on the roster is safe entering 2015, barring some training camp catastrophe.
In case you missed them, here are the profiles for No. 64 Chris Barker, Jordan Devey, No. 66 Bryan Stork, No. 67 Josh Kline, No. 68 Caylin Hauptmann, No. 69 Shaq Mason, No. 71 Cameron Fleming, No. 72 Joe Vellano, No. 74 Trey Flowers, No. 76 Sebastian Vollmer, No. 77 Nate Solder, No. 80 Danny Amendola, No. 82 Josh Boyce and No. 84 Brian Tyms.