The New England Patriots finally added an offensive lineman on the third day of the 2021 NFL Draft.
The Patriots selected William Sherman, an undersized offensive tackle out of Colorado, with the 197th overall pick in the sixth round of the draft.
Sherman, who’s 6-foot-3, 304 pounds, started at left tackle for the Buffaloes in 2018 and 2020. He played right tackle at Colorado in 2019.
Sherman ran a 5.19-second 40-yard dash with a 1.86-second 10-yard split, 26-inch vertical leap, 9-feet broad jump, 4.86-second short shuttle and 7.71-second short shuttle at his pro day this spring. His arms measured in at 33.5 inches, which is important to note for an offensive lineman.
Because of his height and lack of ideal length, many teams would probably move Sherman inside to guard or center in the NFL. The Patriots have shown that they don’t value length at offensive tackle to the same degree as other NFL teams in recent years and might try to keep Sherman at offensive tackle. Isaiah Wynn, Jermaine Eluemunor and Michael Onwenu, all of whom also don’t have ideal length for an NFL offensive tackle, played the position for New England in 2020. The Patriots have converted college offensive tackles to guard in the NFL with Joe Thuney and Logan Mankins being the most notable examples.
Sherman let up just two sacks, two QB hits and no hurries in six games last season as a junior, per PFF. He allowed two sacks, one QB hit and 11 hurries as a sophomore and two sacks and 19 hurries as a freshman in 2018.
PFF praises Sherman for his athleticism but wrote in their draft guide that, “There’s so much bad that needs to be coached out of him that it’s a long shot we see it happen.”
Sherman will compete for a spot on the Patriots’ offensive line depth chart with David Andrews, Trent Brown, Yodny Cajuste, Korey Cunningham, Justin Herron, Ted Karras, Marcus Martin, Shaq Mason, Onwenu, Najee Toran and Wynn.
Andrews, Brown, Mason, Onwenu and Wynn are New England’s projected starters. Karras and Herron are the top backups.
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