Earlier this week, Pat Kirwan put out his Top 20 Breakout Candiates list, where a certain Patriots OT was listed at #19. Sorry to break it you Mr. Kirwan, but to put it in Sebastian Vollmer’s native German, die katze is already out of the bag.
After starting eight games (5 at LT, 3 at RT) for the Patriots in 2009, the second-round draft pick has solidified himself as the top outside lineman on the New England offensive line, which already sports three former Pro Bowl players.
Vollmer was at his best playing LT for an injured Matt Light, where he man-handled none other than Dwight Freeney, but played the RT position to a high level as well.
Unfortunately for the Patriots, Vollmer can’t play both positions. Matt Light is still a legitimate option at LT, but has shown that he is not a swing candidate to play on the right side. Nick Kaczur, the opening day starter at RT in 2009, just can’t handle speed rushers, most prominently shown by him barely being able to lay a finger on the Colts’ Robert Mathis.
Therefore, the Patriots have three options: Vollmer/Kaczur, Light/Vollmer, or Vollmer/Light. We feel that the Light (LT) and Vollmer (RT) combination, with Kaczur serving as the backup, provides the best use of O-Line coach Dante Scarnecchia’s current resources.
All of this could change with a trade of either Light or Kaczur, or if Logan Mankins’ contact situations goes south. What won’t change, however, is that the future for one Düsseldorf-ian offensive lineman looks awfully bright.