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What to Make of the Patriots' Newest Trio of Offensive Linemen

On top of double dipping with some specialists in the 2023 draft, Bill Belichick hit the trifecta in the offensive trenches on day three as well. Interestingly enough, however, all three of those selections involved interior players, when that was comfortably the better section of the Patriots' offensive line last season. But if I told you that based on comments by Patriots' director of player personnel Matt Groh, one of these three players is most likely going to be on the bookends, how would you feel? Because that is almost certainly the case.

Jake Andrews Bio

School: Troy

Number: 55

Height-Weight: 6’2.6 and 306 lbs

Age: 23 (Birthday is November 11)

RAS Score:

Jake Andrews RAS Score

Jake Andrews Big Board Rankings (Selected 107th overall)

Daniel Jeremiah (NFL Network): Unranked (Top 150 Players Only)

Dan Brugler (The Athletic): Unranked (Top 100 Players Only)

JP Acosta (SB Nation): 177th

Charles McDonald (Yahoo Sports): Unranked (Top 100 Players Only)

Draft Network: 235

Pro Football Focus: 189th

My Knee Jerk Pick Grade on the Day of the Selection: D-

Jake Andrews Film Review

Games Watched (all 2022): vs. Coastal Carolina, vs. Lousiana-Layfayette, vs. Appalachian State

Before diving in, it's worth noting that Andrews is a converted center Against CCU (Sun Belt Championship game) and Lousiana-Layfayette, nothing popped about Andrews' performances, but there was nothing glaringly bad either. He looked good opening up rush lanes on the interior in both of these games, and more than held his own in pass protection. Wouldnt exactly say Andrews is a powerhouse or great athlete by any means, but if he can establish his anchor, he's a hard guy to get by.

On the opening snap from scrimmage against App State, Andrews along with his two guards got forklifted back into the QB, leading to an opening play interception...against three down linemen. Not exactly what you would call ideal, Andrews would go on to give up a few more pressures in this one, where he couldn't recover quick enough or was just bull-rushed back up the pocket. He even got pancaked on one rep in the fourth quarter inside the red zone which is far from ideal. Just not a good performance at all.

Positive Takeaways:

- Has experience at both guard spots as well as center.

- Was a bright spot on a poor run offense from a blocking standpoint. Displayed good ability to create inside rush lanes.

- Showed off good short area speed and agility in between the hashes.

- Displayed a relatively consistent anchor in pass pro.

Negative Takeaways:

- Lacks elite athleticism and power.

- Needs to get off the snap fast on a more consistent basis.

- Had a hard time recovering if he was beaten in pass pro.

- Needs to recognize extra/unblocked rushers coming up the inside more consistently.

- Despite consistent anchor, the times when things went bad they went really bad. Was forklifted back into his quarterback multiple times against App State.

- Slightly undersized to be an NFL center at the moment.

Final Thoughts

A lot of the same things I had to say about the Chad Ryland selection can be applied to Andrews here. No issue at all with trying to kick the tires on a project at center, just not this early in the draft. Andrews still has a lot of work to do based on his one season at Center, but his versatility makes him an intriguing option if anything. Additionally, David Andrews wasn't exactly an athletic freak coming into the league either, and Jake tested better than he did as far as being a center goes. This could be a good side project for Adrian Klemm in his first season in New England, but based on what I've seen, I don't think this move makes No. 60 expendable come this fall, not even close.

Jake Andrew Draft Pick Grade: D

Jake Andrews Year One Projection: Depth center with developmental upside

Sidy Sow Bio

School: Eastern Michigan

Number: 52

Height-Weight: 6’4.6 and 323 lbs

Age: 24 (Birthday is June 8)

RAS Score (as an Offensive Guard and Tackle):

Sidy Sow RAS Score as Guard

Sidy Sow RAS Score as Tackle

Keep in mind that this is strictly from an athletic and build perspective, but Sow's closest comparables via RAS scores at each position are All-Pro caliber linemen, Brandon Scherff at guard and Tristian Wirfs at tackle. Not too shabby.

Sidy Sow Big Board Rankings (Selected 117th overall)

Daniel Jeremiah (NFL Network): 104th

Dan Brugler (The Athletic): Unranked (Top 100 Players Only)

JP Acosta (SB Nation): 152nd

Charles McDonald (Yahoo Sports): Unranked (Top 100 Players Only)

Draft Network: 327 (No Scouting Report on him)

Pro Football Focus: 123rd

My Knee Jerk Pick Grade on the Day of the Selection: C

Sidy Sow Film Review

Games Watched: vs. Arizona State (2022), vs. Toledo (2021), vs. Ball State (2021)

Sow's trajectory as a player is a bit interesting. He started out playing tackle, then got kicked in at guard after his freshman season, and is probably going to get kicked back outside now that he's in the NFL. All three of the games are with Sow at guard with that being said. As far as film goes, Daniel Jeremiah said right as he was drafted that he was impressed with Sow going up against Arizona State last year so I figured that was a good place to start. Things that jumped out right away were that Sow's footwork is excellent. A few reps straight up looked like he was playing tackle, and given what we know that isn't too much of a shock. Sow's raw power was also a bit expected, and he has a ton of it in his hands. He had no issues fending off Pac-12 lineman here, although he did lunge into blocks a few times. And on a final note, Sow was a monster blocking out in space the few chances he got here.

The nice things I have to say about Sow don't stop there, however, as he looked good in MACtion against Toledo and Ball State the year prior. A lot of the same things showed up against Toledo, but he had one bad snap in pass protection where he froze up against a stutter step and got left in the dust by his man. This was the only time something like that came up so it was a bit bizarre. Elsewhere, there were some off occasions where Sow couldn't recognize guys dropping back into coverage quickly enough and redirect himself to help out on the play. Again, not a glaring issue but it popped up. On a final note, I loved what I saw from Sow as a pull blocker and just as a blocker out in space against Ball State. Wasn't against them, but just watch him send some poor soul to the shadow realm here.

Positive Takeaways:

- Has experience at both guard and tackle, with the size to realistically play either in the NFL.

- Shows off elite power, especially in his hands.

- Plays with a mean streak in all areas of the game.

- Footwork looked superb in pass protection in spurts. Looked very impressive out on pull blocks and out in space in general.

Negative Takeaways:

- Will occasionally lunge into blocks.

- Hand usage can be inconsistent at times.

- Could take some time to adjust to being a full-time tackle again after four seasons at left guard. Also weeks away from turning 25 years old.

Final Thoughts

All things equal I feel a lot better about this pick than Andrews even if he is multiple years older. Sow has the build, frame, and size makeup that the Patriots like and plays like an absolute bully. I don't believe he's a starter right away, but with the long-term uncertainty at both tackle spots, I wouldn't rule him out as a starter down the road. For now though, I wouldn't be shocked if he got regular-season snaps as a sixth offensive lineman. Put him on an island against smaller edge guys and take 'em completely out of the play.

Sidy Sow Draft Pick Grade: B+

Sidy Sow Year One Projection: Primary swing tackle. Situational sixth offensive lineman.

Atonio Mafi

School: UCLA

Number: 56 (66 in his freshman season)

Height-Weight: 6’2.6 and 3 8lb3s

Age: 22 (Birthday is October 20)

RAS Score:

Atonio Mafi RAS Score

(His first name is misspelled in the RAS database for whatever reason)

When I found out this little factoid about Mafi my initial thoughts on this pick skyrocketed. That being that he was a high school rugby player, and the LA Times has photographic evidence of him stiff-arming some kid into oblivion. Also another fun fact, Mafi is a converted defensive tackle and shedded SEVENTY POUNDS going into last season. That's an incredible testament to his commitment to the game if there ever was one.

Atonio Mafi Big Board Rankings (Selected 144th overall)

Daniel Jeremiah (NFL Network): Unranked (Top 150 Players Only)

Dan Brugler (The Athletic): Unranked

JP Acosta (SB Nation): 190th

Charles McDonald (Yahoo Sports): Unranked

Draft Network: 150th

Pro Football Focus: Unranked (Top 200 Players Only)

My Knee Jerk Pick Grade on the Day of the Selection: C

Atonio Mafi Film Review

Games Watched (all 2022): vs. Washington, vs. USC, vs. Oregon

Late in the first half against Washington, Mafi showed off some good football IQ, recognizing a stunt up the middle but couldn't work back to his right to pick up the block. The same thing happened early in the third as well. Neither led to a sack, but that's something that has catastrophic potential. Maybe the only downside of being 338 lbs as a lineman right there is the lack of lateral movement. Despite that, you saw Mafi get used a good deal on pull blocks and although he was fine, probably doesn't have the athleticism to make it work in the NFL at his current size. Not for the lack of effort mind you. Additionally, I had seen concerns about hand placement going into Mafi's film, and I saw that a bit. Was all over the place in spurts, and it caused him to struggle in pass protection.

All things considered, I thought Mafi looked much better against USC, but it looked like he was taken out around midway through the third quarter. Did some digging and couldn't find an exact reason, but based on what I saw it couldn't have been from his play. Against Oregon, I can also report the same, only this time he was in from bell to bell. Definitely a project guy but you can see the upside with Mafi.

Positive Takeaways:

- Transitioned from IDL to offensive guard as well as you could have hoped. Has a great base to work with as it relates to player development.

- Good usage of natural leverage to fend off pass rushers.

- Power and drive are apparent right away. Especially in his hands.

Negative Takeaways:

- Rawness as an offensive lineman is apparent (granted he only has a year on that side of the ball).

- Lacks lateral movement as well as the overall athleticism to make up for it.

- Technique with his hands is the biggest thing he needs to fix as a pass blocker.

Final Thoughts

Where the Patriots took Mafi is where I'm fine with a project player being taken. Also helps that Belichick had an inside man at UCLA in the form of Chip Kelly, who gave him the scouting report on a guy the Hoodie was reportedly a big fan of. Given the log jam at guard currently, I don't think it's a guarantee Mafi makes the roster, but given he has all the familiar symptoms of a vintage Belichick pick (position conversion, played for one of his friends, and if he played at Rutgers and played lacrosse instead of rugby he'd be a roster lock), I'd say he has a fair shot. And with the recent news that Michael Onwenu is likely to miss OTAs, Mafi is going to have a chance to impress right away. One final note, Mafi is the second Patriots player ever taken out of Junípero Serra High School. The first? Tom Brady.

Atonio Mafi Draft Pick Grade: B-

Atonio Mafi Year One Projection: Depth guard option (primarily left if they can help it).

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