Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
LT: 1. Nate Solder; 2. R.J. Mattes
LG: 1. Logan Mankins; 2. Josh Kline
C: 1. Ryan Wendell; 2. Chris Barker; 3. Braxton Cave
RG: 1. Dan Connolly
RT: 1. Sebastian Vollmer; 2. Marcus Cannon; 3. Jordan Devey
With Friday's re-signing of Ryan Wendell, the Patriots will return their entire starting offensive line for the past two seasons heading into training camp.
Nate Solder and Sebastian Vollmer, the latter recovering from a broken leg that ended his 2013 season, are two of the biggest and best bookend tackles in the NFL. Marcus Cannon is a solid swing backup who can also play guard if needed.
Logan Mankins is the veteran of the crew and one of the most admired guards in the NFL.
But after those three players, there are some question marks. Dan Connolly and Wendell had their struggles in 2013. The Pats could target a center or guard (or both) in the draft, even within the first two rounds, and allow whomever is selected to compete with Wendell and Connolly for a starting spot.
The depth is razor-thin, and with legendary offensive line coach Dante Scarnecchia retiring, the Pats can no longer count on him to turn any player into a serviceable blocker.
The offensive line will be a place to watch in the draft. Protecting Tom Brady in the twilight of his career, especially up the middle, must be a priority.