Right tackle Marcus Cannon was one of the biggest surprises for the New England Patriots in 2017. What grade did he receive for his stellar season?
One of the reasons why the New England Patriots were so successful in 2016 was because of their much-improved offensive line.
After losing to the Denver Broncos in the 2015 AFC Championship Game, the Patriots knew the unit in the trenches had to be better. When quarterback Tom Brady is properly protected, he can tear apart pretty much every defense he faces.
The Patriots drafted Cannon in the fifth round of the 2011 NFL Draft. Like most late-round picks, Cannon didn’t have success right off the bat. In his rookie season, Cannon didn’t start in a game, but a few starts began to trickle in the past few years.
In 2015, we began to see more of Cannon for the Patriots, as he started in eight games during the regular season that year. Unfortunately for Cannon, he did not perform well. Coming into 2016, Cannon was a big question mark for the Patriots. However, he turned out to be one of the best players on the team.
According to Pro Football Focus, Cannon was ranked third among all tackles in the NFL with an 89.4 grade. The only two tackles that were above him in overall grade was Andrew Whitworth and Trent Williams.
As a right tackle, being a run blocker is extremely important. Cannon also excelled in that department, as he was ranked 4th among tackles by Pro Football Focus. Overall, the drastic improvement made by Cannon was a huge help for the Patriots. Heading into 2017, he now just has to sustain that.