March 4, 2024

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Highlights from the first day of mobile training

Highlights from the first day of mobile training

3. Oklahoma OT Tyler Guyton headlines the powerful offensive tackle group

The most impressive position on Senior Bowl rosters is offensive tackle. It's a good year for the Patriots to need OTs, especially at the top 40 picks, as many scouts expect nearly a dozen offensive tackles to fly off the board at the start of Day 2:

Tyler Guyton (Oklahoma) – Guyton is not yet a finished product, with some lapses in technique taking a quick toll. However, he is a converted tight end who is relatively new to the position and is an excellent athlete with tremendous size (6-7, 328, 34 inches). Guyton had an impressive performance as he was dominant during run-blocking and pass-blocking drills. He kneed Alabama edge rusher Chris Braswell to the ground in one rep as Braswell tried to convert his corner. Guyton has an incredibly high ceiling, but quick losses to Houston's Nelson Cesar on an inside spin move and another quick loss on an edge drill show he's green. However, with those athletic traits and raw power, Guyton has tremendous potential.

Thales Foaga (Oregon State) – Overall, a solid showing from Foaga, who started training strong. Fuaga's ability to reach his landmarks quickly to make rushers pass through him to the midfielder was a challenge for the national team's elite forwards. He also has great foot speed and balance as a run blocker. However, Fuaga calmed down at the end of practice, getting beaten by a fast break that could have been a holding call. It's worth monitoring on Day 2 to see if stamina is an issue for Fuaga.

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Patrick Ball (Houston) – Ball is an excellent size forward (6-7, 333, 36″) who was also one of Mobile’s leading athletic testers. His length works against him sometimes against power rushers who can get under his pads on a bull rush, but he will move people and has the foot speed to flip around the arc on a pro pass. Paul is an interesting Day 2 option for the Patriots, with a lot of developmental upside.

Kingsley Suamataia (BYU) – Suamataia is a stocky prospect with a wide frame and a great anchor to slow down the pass rush. Early on, he made it very difficult for players by playing with good leverage to protect his corner. The BYU product also finished regularly in the run game with great power in the outside zone. However, Suamataia had one close loss and a crucial loss to projected No. 1 player Laiatu Latu (UCLA) in a best-of-the-best action at the end of practice. Suamataia initially overpowered Latu in the first rep by landing a cross move, but Latu was able to recover and corner late in the rep. Then Lato hit him with an inside kick. Overall, Suamataia is an interesting prospect given his strong build and strength. However, he will face a lot of pass rushers of Latu's caliber at the next level.

4. UNH RB Dylan Laube between tight ends and running backs

The Patriots offense has holes everywhere, including secondary needs at tight end and running back. This isn't the best offseason at either of those positions, but there could be some value on Day 3, which is precisely where the Pats should pick.

Starting at running back, UNH's Dylan Laub has some skills as a change-of-pace running back. He reached a top speed of over 20 mph as he tore through the defense with repeating one-shotgun fullback power, squeezing in behind the mass of bullets before exploding outward. Laube has quick feet, good stop/start ability and speed in the passing game. As a projected mid-Day 3 pick, I'm intrigued by the fit in New England – like the larger Danny Woodhead.

At tight end, Kansas State's Ben Sinnott and Penn State's Theo Johnson showed the ability to escape coverage on seams and intersections. They have some juice in the passing game that is worth considering as developmental options for the Patriots.

5. Defense is also important: Four defensive players make money on mobile

No, we're not neglecting defensive players in this draft or the Senior Bowl because the Patriots have more pressing needs on offense. Here are the players that caught my attention:

CB Cam Hart (Notre Dame) – Hart was competitive in one-on-one drills with stifling coverage. He had a great rep against Teez Walker, running the route for Walker and intercepting the pass. Hart also has good size (6-3, 204). He could be a perimeter cornerback that the Patriots target as early as Day 3, but Hart could come into play himself on Day 2 in Mobile.

DT Braden Fisk (Florida State) – Oh my God, is this guy's engine running hot. Fiske is a monster in the middle with excellent game speed, power and quick timing. He was destroying running plays during team drills at national practice.

DT Gabe Hall (Baylor) – Volatile interior rusher with really good arm/swim movement and power-winning ability. Hall is worth another look as a potential rotational interior rusher.