FOXBORO – The Patriots have two terrific tackles they spent high draft picks on – Nate Solder (first-rounder in 2011) and Sebastian Vollmer (second-rounder in 2009).
On Saturday, they spent a fourth-round pick on a player who’ll provide immediate depth and could be a successor to Vollmer. Stanford right tackle Cameron Fleming, a 6-5, 323-pounder from Houston was the 140th overall pick.
Fleming started 39 games at Stanford. He majored in aeronautics and astronautics and graduated early, opting to enter the draft rather than use his final year of eligibility. In short, his brain is massive.
His intelligence showed on the field with Stanford playing in their pro-style offense.
For the Patriots, you’d look at him as a power tackle, a bulldozer. Vollmer, who’s been battling back issues and blew out his ACL last season, has actually been playing at an extremely high level when he’s been able to play. Fleming provides depth immediately.
Draft analyst Nolan Nawrocki noted that Fleming could be moved inside as well, so we’ll see if he takes reps at guard under the tutelage of new offensive line coach Dave DeGulglielmo.