Prospects

Prospects
Photo of Thomas Welch
Thomas Welch (OL)
  • Height:
    6'6"
  • Weight:
    307 lbs.
  • Arm Length:
    33 1/4 in.
  • Hand Size:
    9 1/2 in.
  • College:
    Vanderbilt
  • Conference:
    SEC
Featured Prospects
Selected by: New England Patriots
Round: 7
Pick (Overall): 1 (208)
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Pick Analysis: The Patriots further bolster their depth along the offensive line with the selection of Thomas Welch. The former tight end-turned-tackle is raw in several aspects of his game, but has the potential to develop into a solid swing tackle prospect. He will need to earn a spot on the Patriots' roster as a backup.

Overview

Welch is a fifth-year senior who came to Vanderbilt as a tight end but was moved to the offensive line before the 2007 season and became a starter at right tackle during the 2008 season. He moved to the left side for his senior year and put together a nice final season. He is an adequate athlete for the position but lacks the kind of initial quickness, agility and lateral range to play on the left side at the next level. He is still learning the nuances of the offensive line and will need a few seasons, probably as a practice-squad member, to get it all figured out. He is not a natural knee-bender and tends to lunge out after blocks and generally goes to the ground too often. He struggles when trying to mirror better edge rushers at this level and will need to move back to the right side if he has any chance to make it in the NFL. When things go according to plan, he appears comfortable and confident, but when faced with something he hasn't seen in practice, he can look lost.


Strengths

Welch has prototypical size and very good length. Solid athlete who has some versatility after playing tight end and both tackle positions in college. High-effort kid who shows a bit of a mean streak and fights to the whistle every play.

Weaknesses

Welch lacks the initial quickness to consistently get inside the defender's pads and drop quickly against an edge rusher. Does not possess the lateral agility to make blocks in space and play left tackle at the next level. Not a natural knee-bender; tends to lose his balance and lunge at opponents. A converted tight end who gets confused by stunts and blitzes at times.

Grade

3.4

 
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