Patriots Rumors: Team is high on Arkansas lineman Frank Ragnow
Recent New England Patriots rumors involve the 2018 NFL Draft, as the team is reportedly all in on Arkansas offensive lineman, Frank Ragnow.
New England Patriots rumors have heated up in recent weeks with preparations for the 2018 NFL Draft. The draft is now upon us, and we will find out if some of those Patriots rumors had some truth behind them.
There has been a lot of focus on the quarterback position for New England. They have been linked to a number of quarterbacks that could go in the first round, including Baker Mayfield, Mason Rudolph and Lamar Jackson.
Mayfield is a long shot to be in New England, as he is now rumored to be going to the Cleveland Browns with the No. 1 overall pick. The Patriots were increasingly tied to Rudolph last week, but it sounds like Jackson may be their No. 1 target for quarterbacks.
The Patriots have two first-round picks, so they can move up if there is a quarterback that they want to select as Tom Brady‘s successor. However, they have other positions of need to address, one of those being the offensive line.
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Longtime left tackle Nate Solder left this offseason as a free agent. Solder was made the highest paid offensive lineman in NFL history by the New York Giants. As a result, the Patriots have a gaping hole along their offensive line.
So, it would not shock anyone should New England target an offensive lineman early in the draft. Todd McShay has UCLA offensive tackle, Kolton Miller, landing with the Patriots in his final mock draft.
Another offensive lineman to keep an eye on is Frank Ragnow out of Arkansas. Jeff Howe of The Athletic reports that the Patriots are all over Ragnow in part because of Bret Bielema, who is a part of the Patriots staff now and used to be the head coach at Arkansas.
Ragnow has been moving up draft boards recently. His ties to Bielema could be a driving factor in him landing with New England. However, he doesn’t fill an immediate need for the Patriots.
Ragnow is an interior lineman with experience starting at right guard and center. Left guard Joe Thuney, center David Andrews and right guard Shaq Mason all received grades of at least 79 from Pro Football Focus last year. So, the interior isn’t a pressing need for New England, unlike left tackle.
Thuney, Andrews and Mason are all younger players as well, as all three are 25-years old or younger. Using a first round pick on an interior lineman such as Ragnow would make little sense, especially when they have needs at other positions.
Next: Full 2018 First Round NFL Mock Draft
Quarterback, linebacker, the defensive secondary are all more pressing needs than the interior of the offensive line.