Originally Posted by patsfaninpa
Just because I said Fisher's not a better prospect than Solder, doesn't mean he's not a good prospect. I thought Solder was a good prospect and was hoping we'd take him. I think Fisher might be as good. Just don't see how anyone can say better at this point. I just wouldn't want to take a similiar prospect at the same position two years later.
IF the Pats don't keep Sebastian Vollmer, then a starting bookend tackle to pair with Nate Solder becomes probably the highest priority for the offseason. Unless anyone believes that Marcus Cannon is ready to step in as the full time starting RT (in which case we still have a major depth issue at OT if Vollmer leaves), given the cap issues and the cost of obtaining decent tackles in FA, the best likelihood is going through the draft. As far as I can tell, the available options are:
1. Eric Fisher or Taylor Lewan slip to us in the 1st round. Very unlikely, but possible. Either would be extremely good value in the late 1st - something of a steal, actually. Both are probably pure LT prospects, so the most likely option would be to move Nate Solder to RT, where he did well as a rookie.
2. Lane Johnson in the 1st. He's a fast riser right now, and could easily go higher than our pick if he does well against Texas A&M and declares. He has experience at both LT and RT.
3. Kyle Long day 2/3. He has great size and athleticism, but is raw. Could Scar see him as another Vollmer? Is he that good?
4. A dark horse like Reid Fragel day 3. He's flying under the radar, but is very athletic. We know that Scar doesn't go by other people's evaluations, and BB will have better info on the Ohio St. guys than anyone else. Fragel has only been starting for 1 year, but he could be a fast riser.
5. Someone else. Guys like Oday Aboushi of Virginia or Brennan Williams of North Carolina (coming off an injury) could be options.
Personally, I'm praying that Vollmer's back holds up and that we can re-sign him, but that may not work out. You've got to consider the options. And if Vollmer doesn't work out, investing in OT isn't a luxury, it's a necessity, IMHO.
Even if Vollmer re-signs, I personally hope we get someone like Fragel or a developmental guy like Marquardt day 3. We know that Vollmer's back issue isn't going away, and we need to pipeline some young athletic talent at the position.