By Tom E. Curran
INDIANAPOLIS - There's a wide range of opinions on Wisconsin guard John Moffitt. Wes Bunting, draft expert for the National Football Post, has him 10th among offensive guards; Pro Football Weekly's early scouting reports has him fifth. For a team like the Patriots, though, he may be highly regarded for three reasons: versatility, nastiness and the Badgers' offense. With Stephen Neal coming off another shoulder surgery and Logan Mankins in contractual strife, a guard will likely be on the Patriots draft-day checklist. Adding in the fact center Dan Koppen will be 32 when next season begins, that's a spot New England has to look at as well. Enter Moffitt. "I think for a team like the Patriots, I'm a versatile player," he said Friday at the NFL Scouting Combine. "I can play center and guard . . . The thing that helped me was working in a pro-style offense. I'm familiar with a lot of the concepts that are being thrown at me now. The game knowledge is something I can really carry over."Moffitt is 6-4, 314 and very powerfully built. He acknowledged that he needs to improve in pass blocking and that he has to get better with his hands but he also pointed out that the Badgers' style will help him at the next level."Physically, it helped that we are a 'bigger' offensive line and played a North-South kind of run game," he explained. I need to get a little more detailed in my pass protection but I think the pro-style offense at Wisconsin will carry over well to the NFL."A player like Moffitt would be a likely third-day pick in the fourth through seventh-roundrange.