Dante Scarnecchia isn’t reading too deep into the Patriots focusing on the interior offensive line in the draft.
The Patriots selected three offensive linemen in April’s draft. They took Troy center Jake Andrews in the fourth round, then added guard Sidy Sow 10 picks later. In the fifth round, they drafted Antonio Mafi, a guard from UCLA.
This comes on the heels of a season in which the Patriots got subpar play from their tackles. Isaiah Wynn has since signed with the Dolphins, and the Patriots have filled the role with veterans Riley Reiff and Calvin Anderson, in additions to holdovers like Trent Brown and Conor McDermott.
Brown and Reiff will be free agents after the upcoming season, and Anderson’s and McDermott's deals expire a year later. It would have made sense for the Patriots to draft a tackle, but they instead focused their efforts on the interior, with the caveat that Sow is expected to get a look at tackle during camp and preseason.
Scarnecchia offered his reaction to that approach to WEEI’s Nick “Fitzy” Stevens on 6 Rings.
“I don’t know what it says about what they have or what was available to them in the draft,” Scarnecchia said. “Other than they valued the interior guys more than whatever was left outside, (and) by the time they had gotten through the first and second rounds (that) was who they really liked and who they wanted. And now you’re into those mid rounds where tackles – tackles are always the ones that go first, maybe a center. But after that, then what was available to them are guys they had a nice value on, they picked them.
“There’s a lot of speculation that this is for something in the future if they lose these guys or that. However all that works I don’t know, but I’m sure they’re happy with the guys they got, and we’ll see how it all goes.”
Ultimately, the Patriots have versatility on the offensive line, and guys who could play both at guard and tackle if needed. That said, figuring out where all the pieces fit together will be a closely watched storyline this preseason.