John's Sewer & Drain Cleaning

Perry's Draft Grade: Pats have ‘work to do' with OT Caedan Wallace

New England is taking a bit of a gamble with the Penn State tackle.

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The New England Patriots entered the 2024 NFL Draft needing a quarterback, wide receiver and left tackle. Mission accomplished with their first three picks ... kind of.

The Patriots checked off the first two boxes by selecting UNC quarterback Drake Maye at No. 3 overall and Washington wide receiver Ja'Lynn Polk at No. 37. With their third-round pick, de facto general manager Eliot Wolf and Co. picked Penn State offensive tackle Caedan Wallace, who's an excellent prospect -- but played exclusively right tackle for the Nittany Lions.

Wolf insisted Friday night that the team believes Wallace is athletic enough to flip over to left tackle, where he potentially could start opposite starting right tackle Mike Onwenu. Our Patriots Insider Phil Perry is a bit more skeptical.

While Perry is high on Wallace's athleticism, he notes the 24-year-old still isn't a surefire left tackle like some of the prospects who were picked before him earlier in the draft.

Phil Perry offers instant reaction and analysis to the Patriots' selection of Penn State OT Caedan Wallace with the 68th overall pick in the 2024 NFL Draft.

"Six-foot-five, 314 pounds, 34-inch arms and massive 10 3/4-inch hands, that's the 90th percentile," Perry said of Wallace in his official grade of the team's 68th pick. "He's an explosive mover as well, so you can see why the Patriots want to invest in him. His broad jump ranked in the 96th percentile of offensive tackles who participated in the combine over the last 20 years."

"You have to like his experience. He started 40 games for the Nittany Lions -- all 40 coming at right tackle. So, if you were hoping the Patriots would come away with a lock-it-down left tackle in this year's draft, there may be some work to do for Wallace.

"... An experienced player with impressive traits but still plenty of questions as to whether or not he can block up Drake Maye's blind side, let's go ahead and give this pick a C+."

It's possible that Wallace makes a seamless transition to left tackle under the guidance of Patriots offensive line coach Scott Peters and is the team's starting left tackle for years to come. But as Perry points out, Wallace's selection is a bit of a gamble at a very important position.

New England currently has five picks on Day 3, which kicks off Saturday at 12 p.m. ET.

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