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Marpet at the Senior Bowl. (AP/Brynn Anderson)
The Patriots had their issues last year along their offensive front that resulted in poor performances by the offense as a whole. Injuries, players playing out of place, and the transition to a line without Logan Mankins required time and practice to become fully functional. Now that line could yet again be altered with the potential departure of captain and starting LG Dan Connolly. Starting RG Ryan Wendell is on the last year of his deal. Starting LT Nate Solder is playing on his fifth-year option. Even starting RT Sebastian Vollmer has doubts in regards to his health. Center Bryan Stork may be the closest thing to a surefire lock to be on the team past this season. This draft presents a few options that could step in and be expected to be a day one starter at guard, the Patriots greatest need currently. One of these options is DIII Hobart's Ali Marpet.

One of the few players that managed to catapult up draft boards following the NFL combine. He blew away scouts with his athleticism. This was more surprising due to him coming from Division III. While many are questioning his ability due to not facing NFL quality opponents, his potential, given his athleticism, is more than intriguing to a lot of NFL teams. His behavior during the draft process shows a mature and knowledgeable young man who is willing to put the effort in to become the NFL player he will drafted to be.



Measurables:
Height: 6'4"
Weight: 307 lbs
Arm Length: 33 3/8”
Hand Size: 10"

Combine Results:
4.98 40 Yard Dash
30 Reps of 225 on Bench
30.5" Vertical
108" Broad Jump
7.33 3 Cone Drill
4.47 20 Yard Shuttle

Professional Comparison:
Joel Bitonio - The main difference is technique, where Bitonio has the edge. Both are great athletes with good quickness and speed. When blocking, both show a mauler mentality, making sure they finish their blocks, even if it means throwing their defender into the dirt. Playing in college at LT, like Bitonio, Marpet will have to make the transition to the interior of the offensive line in the NFL due to lacking in size.

Strengths: 
The quickest and fastest guard in this draft by a long shot. Keeps feet pumping in run blocking. Physically dominated opponents in college. Has position versatility to play any of the three interior line positions. Gives constant effort. Finishes blocks and plays to the whistle. Will excel when asked to pull. His head doesn't dip when engaged with defenders. Has a mauler mentality.

Weaknesses: 
Plays very upright. Can get out-leveraged by defenders. Doesn't show flexibility in hips and knees. Relied on his athleticism in order to make blocks instead of technique. Can outrun his blocks and get out of position. Footwork is average at best. Crosses feet too often. Short legs limit his ability to shuffle with defenders. Hand placement technique lacks, puts his hands on shoulders instead of inside shoulder pads.



Here is the link to the game footage I watched on Marpet: http://clients.bproductions.com/ali-marpet-left-tackle-55



Projections:
3rd round. Some team will reach for Marpet due to his potential. With his measurables, he looks very tantalizing to teams that play a scheme that needs his athleticism to play guard. He will struggle if forced to play from the start. Would benefit from some coaching and time to develop into the player he can be.



Will the Patriots draft him?
If he is there at the end of the 3rd or the start of the 4th round, and they have already taken a guard earlier, he would be a great project for the Patriots to develop behind Wendell to eventually take over his role. His speed would be ideal for the pulls that the Patriots require their guards to perform. With high level coaching he could become a starter the following year, but if he is asked to be a day one starter he will struggle. I don't see Marpet being in the top three guards on the Patriots big board. They need starters now.

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Adam Bogdan 4/24/2015 08:18:00 PM Edit
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