Patriots drafting Caedan Wallace is a good, yet confusing move

Penn State v Illinois
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The Patriots had three major positions they needed to address early in the 2024 NFL Draft: offensive line, quarterback, and wide receiver. After passing in their third-round pick, they completed their task by adding Penn State alum Caedan Wallace.

It was a good pick to be their (presumed) final selection of Day 2, but what made the pick confusing was that he started 40 games during his college career at right tackle, which is not the side of the offensive line that needs help in New England.

That seemed settled when Mike Onwenus re-signed in free agency earlier this year, with Jerod Mayo stating he would be the starter for the 2024 season. With left tackles left on the board, why did the new regime choose Wallace instead?

Patriots drafting Caedan Wallace is a good, yet confusing move

Until we hear directly from Mayo and Eliot Wolf to discuss their decision behind the pick, Wallace is touted as a potential swing tackle who could transition to the left side if the Patriots see it fit.

He is athletic for his size, at 6'5" and 341lbs., and is strong at the point of attack. Some experts considered him to be better than other tackles who went off the board before him, including respected analysts and former player Louis Riddick, who had nothing bad to say about the Patriots latest pick.

On top of that glowing endorsement, Wallace is a great pass blocker, which will come in handy with a rookie quarterback under center, earning his highest PFF grade (72.3) in 2023. Even more impressively, through 359 snaps during his time at Penn State, he allowed just one sack of his quarterback.

Is that impressive or what?

A lot of Wallace can bring to the table looks great on paper; hopefully, it works out. However, how the Patriots plan to use him is a bit more questionable.

The assumption is that they know what they're doing (of course) and plan to use him as a left tackle despite his inexperience. And hopefully, it's because they like the fundamentals of his game that they see on tape. After all, it's quite a risk to take with a third-round lineman if you're not sure he's the right guy to transition.

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