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Pats grab another lineman, in deal with 49ers

Field Level Media
April 28. 2018 12:53AM
Trent Brown (John Hefti-USA TODAY Sports)

The New England Patriots apparently are not done making over their offensive line, particularly at tackle. A day after drafting Georgia lineman Isaiah Wynn with the No. 23 pick in the NFL draft on Thursday night, the Patriots are reportedly acquiring San Francisco offensive tackle Trent Brown.

According to the report by ESPN’s Adam Schefter and Field Yates on Friday, the Patriots are giving the 49ers their third-round pick (No. 95 overall) in exchange for Brown and San Francisco’s fifth-round pick (No. 143 overall). The deal is contingent upon Brown passing a physical, according to the report.

The 49ers drafted the 6-foot-9, 376-pound Brown in the seventh round in 2015. He started two games as a rookie and every game for which he was active in the last two seasons. He is entering the final year of his current contract.

According to the ESPN report, the Patriots want to get a look at Brown’s surgically repaired shoulder before finalizing the trade. Brown suffered the injury in practice leading up to Week 12, missed a game, tried playing through the injury and ultimately was placed on injured reserve.

Along with drafting Wynn, New England signed four-year veteran Ulrick John on Tuesday and five-year pro Matt Tobin in March.

The team lost veteran Nate Solder to the Gi Giants and versatile tackle Cameron Fleming to the Cowboys, both via free agency this offseason.

According to multiple reports, both Wynn and Brown will be part of a crowded crop of tackles competing for the starting spots this season. The team returns starting right tackle Marcus Cannon.

Brown is a former seventh-round pick who has played surprisingly well for someone drafted that late. He started all 16 games in 2016 and 10 last year before succumbing to a torn labrum.

Brown’s weight has fluctuated, and the 49ers have been leery about giving him a big, long-term contract. His massive size has been a hindrance to pass rushers but doesn’t mesh particularly well with the team’s zone-rushing style.

Before he landed on the injured reserve, Brown was having a solid season. Pro Football Focus graded him as the 21st best tackle in the NFL with an overall grade of 79.3. For comparison, Solder had a 75.7 grade (32nd overall) and Cannon was graded at 78.1 (26th overall). As a pass-blocker, Brown was ranked as the eighth-best tackle allowing just one sack, six hits and nine hurries in 415 passing snaps.

Denver Broncos All-Pro Von Miller has called Brown “the best right tackle in the National Football League.”

Although Brown has started at right tackle in the NFL, he could possibly factor into the left tackle situation.

Whatever the offensive alignment is next year, it looks like there could be a few changes. As Nick Caserio, the Patriots’ director of player personel said on Thursday night, “Our whole philosophy on the whole offensive line is that we’ll put the best five guys out there and however it sorts itself out, it’ll sort itself out.”

With reports from the Providence (R.I.) Journal and the Sacramento Bee.

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