Post Draft Scouting Report: Joe Thuney, OL

While I like the player, I question the need. What exactly will be Joe Thuney's role on the Patriots?

While I like the player, I question the need. What exactly will be Joe Thuney’s role on the Patriots?

NEPD Staff Writer: Mike Gerken

I think most of us agreed that the Patriots would make a trade down in this draft with one of their three picks on Day 2 that could be traded. When the Patriots got back on the clock, I was assuming they would target Offensive Tackle or Runningback. In the end, they Patriots did what they typically do, make a pick that leaves fans scratching their head. I went back and watched several NC State games, including a couple I had not watched yet and here is what I saw from Joe Thuney.

When you look at the spider graph above, two things really pop out from an analytics standpoint for Thuney. One, he is a very athletic guy with good movement skills. The other is that he has really short arms even for the Guard position. On tape, both of these things showed up. Thuney is a smooth mover especially as a run blocker. In college, he showed the ability to work off his blocks and get to the second level, find another guy, and square them up in space. He kept his head up and has good footwork to move laterally down the line of scrimmage. He is very smart and he keeps his head on a swivel, always looking for and finding where the pressure is coming from. From a statistics standpoint, Thuney has been one of the best Tackles and Guards in the country over the past two years. He is obviously versatile, playing all five positions in college. He is a team leader and a team first guy, doing whatever it takes for the benefit of the team. His pass protection is not the prettiest I have ever seen, but he always got the job done. He does have some things to work on though to have great success in the NFL. He struggles with length because of his short arms. Too often players can get into his chest and it results in his arms getting out wide and holding. His footwork in pass protection needs work. He does not look as comfortable or athletic when he kickslides and he tends to lean into defenders, presumably to compensate for his short arms. Thuney needs to work on his base as well as he can get knocked off balance. Like I said, it was not always pretty, but it certainly got the job done. According to PFF, he graded out as the 2nd best Tackle in the country and only allowed 2 sacks in nearly 600 snaps this year.

Overall, this is a very interesting pick. I have read some reports that absolutely love Thuney and think it was a great pick (PFF, Josh Norris) while others thought it was a reach. I do not really have a problem with the player as I think he is very good and has potential to be a versatile piece along the line. I had less of a problem when I thought the team would try him at Tackle, but it sounds like he is going to be playing Guard for the Patriots. My question is this, was Guard a need? If so, does that mean the team already considers last year’s picks of Tre Jackson and Shaq Mason busts? What about Johnathon Cooper? For years, we were told you can find Guards anywhere in the draft. Now it seems the Patriots are chasing the position. Maybe they have a master plan that is over my head and it will all work out, but for now, the idea of using our second pick in the draft on another Guard does not seem like the best use of resources.  I think Thuney is going to come in and either win a starting Guard job or be a part of a rotation, similar to what they did last year. If Thuney shows enough in camp that the Patriots can move on from Cannon, then I will like this pick so much more. My worry is that the team feels they made a mistake in last year’s draft and Thuney will be replacing one of the younger Guards, meaning the team starts over again with the line rebuild.

52 Responses to “Post Draft Scouting Report: Joe Thuney, OL”

  1. Russell says:

    Patriots could not have been high on Bostic. I liked him out of college. Patriots get a 7th round pick…. only if Bostic makes the roster at Detroit, which I bet he does.

  2. steve earle says:

    Bostic traded to lions for conditional pick.

  3. Kevan says:

    I liked Bostic coming out of college, had high hopes for him. Even after last year I thought a full training camp would have helped. For whatever reason it didn’t work. owell as long as Collins and Hightower are playing it won’t matter.

  4. Dan Sullivan says:

    After reviewing Patriots draft seems like they strengthened several areas that they
    wanted to.
    Patriots veterans to have a strong year.
    Julian Edelman WR
    Jonathan Cooper G
    Chris Long DE
    Jordan Richards S

    My favorite Draft pick Elandon Roberts ILB
    My favorite UDFA Bryce Williams TE

    Celtics should draft Buddy Hield Oklahoma and Demetrius Jackson Notre Dame
    Bruins should draft Tyson Jost C Pendelton and Carter Hart G Everett

    Finally Red Sox need to make David Ortiz a offer he can’t refuse for another year.

    • steve earle says:

      I hope your right Dan though I have to say B. Williams has plenty of competition at the TE position and Cooper hasn’t proven himself as yet, but one can hope.

  5. Stephen J says:

    I just came across this for those that are interested be on the look out for

    https://twitter.com/DMooreNFL/status/729028676302606336 and

    https://twitter.com/DMooreNFL/status/729101279029542915

  6. Russell says:

    49ers cut old friend, OT/G Jordon Devey, Jets cut OT Sean Hickey.

  7. Todti says:

    AMENDOLA STAYS! Wohoo! I love it, he’s auch an important piece for Brady. If the new money is evenly spread over the two seasons he’ll make as much as the last seasons, and that’s perfectly fine. Which would also mean that he probably stays for both years. So Mitchell and Foster are going to get the time to develop at the back end of the WR corps (and PS).
    Edelman, Amendola, Hogan, Martin, Mitchell. Looks pretty good to me. Plus Gronk, Bennett, Lewis (probably not 100% though), White, maybe Harbor. Plus depth at the interior OL. Seems like the quick passing game could finally make it through a full season.

    • GM-in-Training says:

      Awesome news on Amendola!
      Log jam at WR.
      Will there be an outside guy? Hogan, I guess.
      They will be lucky if they can stash 2 receivers on the practice squad.

      Open question to the forum…Who on the roster is trade bait?
      Who is good enough that we can get something for them, but dispensable enough because A) We’re trying to develop younger, cheaper players who should fill in ok, or B) They’re not quite what the Pats are trying to do this year, or C) They’re on the way down and we can get something for them this year before their contract is up?

      Cannon comes to mind. Anybody else?

      • Jeff says:

        Other guys who are decent who could be traded would be:

        Ryan if guys like Jones, Roberts, Coleman, and 1 of the undrafted guys step up
        Ninkovich if Long looks good and Flowers, Grissom, or Johnson is showing something
        Stork, Kline, Jackson, Mason, Andrews: Due to the redundancy on the roster, 1-2 of these guys could potentially be moved, though probably not for a high return.
        Bostic – didn’t show much last season, so not sure if he’s still worth a trade return – maybe more a fringe player for fringe player swap
        White – got plenty of opportunity and was okay catching the ball but didn’t show much in pass protection or running the ball. as a recent fourth, maybe you can get a late rounder
        Dobson – has been decently productive when on the field – if another team thinks he’s a better system fit, they might part with a late round pick.

        If you want a big return (like we got for Chandler Jones), you’ll have to look at Collins, Hightower, Butler, or maybe Sheard.

        I think your best bet at a good return would be hoping that Jimmy G shows something in pre-season and any regular season action and then moving him in the offseason for a high pick or picks.

        • GM-in-Training says:

          Jeff you get a prize (brownie points?) for naming Bostic as trade bait. Prescient call.

        • Jeff says:

          Haha, hopefully he makes the roster over there and earns us a 7th!

      • Todti says:

        I don’t think Cannon induces any trade talks. He played poorly last season (partly due to his injury) and is in the last year of contract that so far overpaid him. Nobody wants to get that. I’m actually afraid the Patriots might extend his contract now that Dante is back.

        Regarding possible trades I agree with Jeff, we have to look at overcrowded positions: CB, RB, iOL. I could see the Patriots keep only 3 OTs because the style of the offense might favour OGs and TEs, especially considering the focus on inline blocking with Gronk, Bennett and Williams.
        At CB I can see some rookies supplant veterans. If I had to guess J. Jones would be my pick because he features decent man coverage skills and great speed. His 3 cone tone is bad, though, so I think he can only play outside. Which creates the following scenario: Butler, Roberts, J.Jones on the outside and Coleman and C. Jones as slot CBs with the latter as a safety option on the outside. I’m not sure one year of Ryan’s services could create a decent offer, but he’s a proven commodity on a nice salary. A contender (or some team thinking this way of itself at the start of the season) might need an injury replacement after the preseason and thus be willing to pay with a low 5th round pick (best case).
        At RB I assume 3 spots are guaranteed for Blount (or another big back), Bolden and Lewis. The fourth spot will probably be filled by White or Brown (outside chance: Foster). If the Patriots are pleased with Brown White could generate quite some market. He’s got two years left on his contract, on a decent salary, and performed pretty well after Lewis’ injury. However, looking at the rosters across the NFL, there aren’t a lot of teams in need of a receiving back. The 49ers come to mind because they don’t really have (a proven) one right now and Chip Kelly might want to feature that option on offense. They also have enough picks next season and the cap space to extend him after 2016 if pleased (and to keep him if not). Maybe the Raiders are another option, their offense is rather sophisticated. [By the way, the Seahawks’ RB corps now features Rawls, CJ Prosise and Alex Collins. Yikes.]

        • Stephen J says:

          V’Angelo Bentley may give J Jones a challenge he is more versatile in that he returns punts and kick offs now strictly CB wise I’m not sure who is better probably J Jones but not by a big margin. I like both but probably only one makes it. The other possibility would be one makes 53 while one makes PS.

        • Stephen J says:

          Just looked at Russell’s undrafted prospects contracts. Wow surprised that J Jones and DJ Foster were not given signing bonus or gtd money yet V’Angelo Bentley was given a 10,000 signing bonus and 17500 gtd money. That tells me on the surface they like Bentley more than Jones. Now let’s see what happens on the field

        • Todti says:

          I think the salaries are more a reflection on the competition while trying to sign them. But sure, if the Patriots are willing to pay more than others it’s a sign of their projection.

    • steve earle says:

      OMG don’t jinx us saying that, lol. But yea there are some WR’s that might become decent NFL talent. Can’t wait for camp to see how they and the rest shape up.

    • J H TARBORO says:

      Amendola taking a second paycut in 2 yrs., is like when your boss at your job give you a “vote of confidence” and fires you the next day. Amendola is outta here!!!

      • GM-in-Training says:

        I disagree. Amendola was brought in to replace Welker, and paid like a #1 WR, with a back-end loaded deal. He was slowed the first couple seasons and Edelman became the #1, making more moderate Salary. They kept paying Amendola as long as they could. In a sense, they and he acknowledge that they overpaid him the first few years of his deal, but now that he’s up to speed in their system, he’s more valuable to the Pats than anybody else, and that Pats are happy to pay him more, just not more than Edelman. I would think all is well.

        However, we haven’t heard how much if any of Amendola’s deal is guaranteed.

        • acm says:

          Well said, GM-in-Training!
          Glad to see those nightly classes at GM Academy are finally paying off. :)

        • steve earle says:

          Well I don’t think you can say Amendola is in the same class as either Welker or Edelman. He’s a decent slot receiver but no differance maker really. And though he has restructured again the other side of that coin could be that it makes him more attractive to other teams in need so no gurantree he’s here if Bill gets a good offer. Just a little reality because Bill always has a price in mind.

        • acm says:

          Doubt Amendola has any trade value at this point in his career. Now that he’s picked up the offense, and with Edelman’s injury history, he’s much more valuable to the Patriots than any other team out there.
          Amendola knows this, Patriots know this – it’s why he’s been so willing to take a pay-cut last couple of years and it’s why the Pats have been willing to keep him on for still a pretty decent amount of dough.
          Like GM said – both parties know Amandola, considering his actual and not projected role in the Offense, got overpaid on his original contract. Hence why he’s been taken a pay-cut for the last 3 years (including ’15, ’16, ’17 seasons) of his 6-year contract.

      • J H TARBORO says:

        We’ll see! Amendola will go bye bye!

  8. Russell says:

    undrafted prospects contracts, highlighted in my article at footballnation.com

  9. Jeff says:

    If Jones (or one of the UDFAs) can be an effective top 3 corner, Thuney can be an upgrade at guard within a year, Valentine can be a productive 3rd/4th rotational DT, and Brisset or Mitchell turn into a reasonable backup, I think we’ll remember this draft class as a success. However, it’s hard to envision these players turning into legit studs, more rotational guys. With all of the guys hitting free agency next year, I think that puts pressure on the Pats to be able to swing a deal or two (the best candidate would be Jimmy G.) to get several extra picks next year, including higher picks.

    • Todti says:

      “it’s hard to envision these players turning into legit studs, more rotational guys“
      The Patriots’ first pick was #60. That’s what you usually get at those positions. The only guy I could see develop into a transcendental player is Kamu. He’s got all the physical tools, now it depends on his smarts and ability to take on the coaching.
      I really like this draft class. I’ve got the feeling almost all of the picks will contribute. This class seems like one of the more “safe“ ones in recent years, all coachable and high-character guys, and I love it.

  10. nomar says:

    Anyone wondering if the Pats idea is to resign Vollmer, this not needing to get a new OT?

    They’ve already said Thunney will play on the interior so he’s not a replacement OT.

    • Jeff says:

      Certainly wouldn’t be a shock if they extended him a couple of years. That allows them to draft another tackle in the next year or 2 to groom as a replacement.

      The talk of extension brings up a big question mark though. Most Pats fans thought that this off-season’s number 1 priority was extending guys like Collins, Hightower, Sheard, and Butler, and we haven’t seen any of them extended. Seems like more of an “all-in” approach, using cap space to sign some free agents rather than to give signing bonuses.

      • steve earle says:

        Right it does look like the all-in scenario to me too. I also think you assessment of most of the draft class as rotational backups is more then likely but don’t get me going on that again it’s a sore spot for me.

  11. Stephen J says:

    Found this while looking for more on Thuney

    https://twitter.com/LedyardNFLDraft/status/723578482001870848

    That’s good for us since Shaq is now playing in Buffalo.

  12. Stephen J says:

    Sounds like Joe Thuney is in a similar situation that Shaq Mason was last year. A good run blocker but needed to learn pass blocking. Maybe Shaq could be of assistance there. Going to be interesting to see how this interior O line plays out.
    Also Joe Thuney scored a 39 on his wonderlic at the combine.

    • Stephen J says:

      Wait a second just came across this again from Mike Loyko

      https://twitter.com/NEPD_Loyko/status/726236094019293184

      So maybe he could use work mechanically or technique wise in pass blocking but seems he was efficient in it

      • Mike Gerken says:

        You are right Stephen J,
        From an analytics standpoint, he graded out really well last year. Like I said in the article, it was not the prettiest in terms of technique, but he more than got the job done. The worry for me will be his strength if he moves inside and the upgrade in talent he will be facing. Will his ugly but effective style work in the NFL?

        • Stephen J says:

          I don’t know hard to say. He gave Shaq Lawson fits yet was owned by Noah Spence. I would imagine it’s going to be like that in the pro’ albeit on the inside. Everyone seems to have a person or two they struggle with and yet are capable of handling other very good players. I agree with you in regards to strength. I have a hard time envisioning him holding up against the DT’s in our conference but that goes right back to the Shaq Lawson example and his athleticism. Time will tell.

  13. Russell says:

    Patriots may take a look at OT Mike Adams cut by the Steelers, if healthy form his back issue which he missed most of last year.

  14. Stephen J says:

    Here is an article about the UDFA’s for the Pats

    https://bostonsportsmedia.com/2016/05/04/whos-the-fa-udfa-2016-edition/

  15. Russell says:

    The Patriots roster will be very different this year, if they carry 3 QB’s. Last year we mostly saw 8 O-lineman, which I think was to thin.

    OG Mason, Very quick, had to learn Pass blocking, I could see him at OC.
    OT Solder, left Tackle starter.
    OT Vollmer, Right Tackle starter
    G/OT Thuney, looks quick enough to play OT if needed.
    OC Stork, starter
    OG Cooper, starter
    OT Waddle, I like the guy, better at right OT then left. I give him the edge over Cannon.
    OG/C Kline,??
    OG Karas..??????? Cheaper than Kline
    the guys on the bubble;
    OC Andrews , did a nice job, very cheap, P-Squad
    OG Jackson, not sure if he can be on P-Squad, but I think so with the time he missed injured.
    OT Cannon, Is in the last year of his deal, Cut
    OT Flemming, Is Cut
    OG Wendell, retires
    TE Michael Williams , makes the roster as TE, back-up OT
    Patriots may only carry three TE’s, with one on the P-squad.

    • Stephen J says:

      Andrews is ineligible for practice squad he was active for 14 games and eligibility is less than 9.

    • Gerry says:

      Keep in mind that he is also looked at as a center prospect. I think that is where he contributes with Stork as the 2nd center and possible RG. Cannon’s future depends on what happens in camp but it is hard to see how his cap hit works in his favor. Scar liked him, I think, and got far better efforts out of him.

      As to TEs and NE this gets complicated. NE just signed Bryce Williams [6-6 257] as a UDFA. As a blocking option I think he has a chance in camp to win a job. Besides Michael Williams, NE also has Devlin and Harbor slotted as HB/TE. Also NE signed UDFA De’Runnya Wilson who is too slow as a WR but at 6-5 235 begins to sound like a move TE in NE. This is a HUGE cast of characters and what happens is going to be very interesting.

      Is there and chance that Scar works with M. Williams as a legit OT?

      • steve earle says:

        Yea I think Scar working M. Williams into an OT is a real possability sense BB didn’t address OT in the draft. Seems he could have the quickness against speed rushers it just might take some extra muscle for the bigger guys but it’s an idea that’s been talked about before and a sound one I think.

      • steve earle says:

        Oh yea, I hadn’t heard where they signed DeRunna Wilson. Where did you find that? I tried the roster but no luck.

      • steve earle says:

        Okay, didn’t look there just at the roster. Still not on the roster today last I looked how come they don’t put all the UDFA’s on there is a couple others missing too?

      • steve earle says:

        Gerry I keep looking but still can’t find him on any Pat’s generated list. Maybe it’s just me I’m hardly proficent with a computer but the list of UDFA’s the Pat’s site has does not have him? What am I doing wrong, help?

  16. GM-in-Training says:

    Cannon is a backup Tackle.
    Thuney may well be a better backup Tackle, but is he a good enough backup OT? How many snaps did Cannon, Fleming, Stork and any other backups play at OT last year? Quite a few.

    Above OT are generally pricey.

    The only way any of this makes sense to me is if Waddle is heir-apparent at RT, and Thuney is an upgrade at OG, and 4th OT in the depth chart, with Cannon bouncing back from injury.

    We just haven’t seen enough from Waddle to feel great about that scenario, but what else makes sense?

  17. EdgeX says:

    Mistake from last year to draft another guard? I’m not sure about that.

    With the injuries to the offensive line position last year, up coming contracts those maybe enough reasons to draft another guard with the future in mind.

    Another thought I had is maybe the Pats really want to get back to the no huddle offense with Gronk and Bennett – to do that you need bodies in the middle to rotate out and keep the line fresh.

    Just imagine that offense churning…can’t wait for the season to start!

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