Darnell Wright – OT – Tennessee
It’s no secret that the Patriots have struggled to maintain a healthy and productive offensive line over the last few years, impacting the quarterbacks’ performance during games.
They have already addressed one of the most significant issues facing the linemen in releasing Matt Patricia from his position as the OL coach and hired Adrian Klemm to take over those duties after a short stint with Oregon.
Now that they are set to have proper coaching, addressing the position is even more critical to a successful offense, and they start that by taking Darnell Wright in the first round.
In recent weeks, Wright has slowly climbed draft boards around the league, as he had previously been considered a day-two selection. But after an impressive showing at the NFL Combine in February, he’s now become the third-ranked prospect at the position by PFF.
If the Patriots choose to address the OL in round one, Wright would be one of the more versatile choices. He has experience playing all over the line as a four-year starter at Tennessee, which would help fill Isaiah Wynn’s spot or even Trent Brown’s if he continues to show inconsistency on the left side.
Wright has the size (6’5″ and 333 lbs.) and speed (ran a 5.01-second 40-yard dash at the Combine) that would greatly benefit the offense overall. His tape is impressive, especially his performance against top EDGE prospect Will Anderson, making him a potential steal for New England at 14.