Over the next four weeks WEEI.com will offer up a total of 28 prospects who could be potential Patriots selections in the 2021 NFL Draft. While the top five projected overall prospects – QB Trevor Lawrence, QB Zach Wilson, WR Ja’Marr Chase, TE Kyle Pitts and OT Penei Sewell – won’t be included, all other players at all positions will be considered potential targets for Bill Belichick and his staff. Today focuses on another top offensive line prospect likely to be around in the middle of the first round.
T Virginia Tech
Resume: Darrisaw was lightly recruited coming out of Riverdale Baptist (Upper Marlboro, Md.) in part due to some concerns about his grades. … Chose Virginia Tech over a handful of FCS scholarship offers, spending a year at Fork Union Military Academy before joining the Hokies. … Started immediately at left tackle, going on to start all 35 games he played over three seasons for Virginia Tech. … Earned First-Team All-ACC honors in 2020 as well as Second-Team AP All-American recognition. … Decided to forgo his senior season to enter the 2021 NFL Draft.
Pre-Draft Buzz: Though considered to be an introverted personality, work ethic has never been an issue and The Athletic notes that Virginia Tech head coach Justin Fuente describes Darrisaw as “a true warrior.” … Has all the size, length and athletic ability sought at the position. … NFL.com draft profile for Darrisaw compares him to two-time Pro Bowler Russell Okung, noting his “athletic traits and talent as a true left tackle should create first-round demand as a higher-ceiling, lower-floor prospect.” … Many scouting reports seem to question Darrisaw’s ability to finish plays at times and dominate opponents that he should be able to. … The Ringer compares Darrisaw to former Texans and current Seahawks Pro Bowl left tackle Duane Brown, writing that he “brings the ideal combination of size, athleticism, and physicality.” … NFL.com’s Daniel Jeremiah has Darrisaw going to the Colts at No. 21 overall in his most recent mock draft.
Why Darrisaw fits the Patriots’ needs: As noted in previous prospect posts, the Patriots don’t necessarily “need” another elite tackle right now. But the uncertain futures for Isaiah Wynn and Trent Brown make things on the edges of the offensive line questionable for 2022 and beyond. Darrisaw is a clean left tackle prospect who brings pretty much everything a scout could ask for at the position. He has the size, length and athletic ability to go along with plenty of playing experience at the spot. Drafting talented offensive linemen with clear upside, even a year before they’re really needed in New England, has been a Belichick trademark in past drafts. Darrisaw could easily be next in line as a value-based selection in the middle of the first round.