Scouting Report: Joe Haeg, OT

Could this small school prospect be the solution to the Patriots offensive line problems?

Could this small school prospect be the solution to the Patriots offensive line problems?

NEPD Staff Writer: Mike Gerken

It is Senior Bowl week and we are already hearing reports that the Patriots have been meeting with Offensive Lineman down in Mobile.  The Patriots offensive line has taken a lot of heat this season because of their issues in pass protection and run blocking. The criticism is well deserved. Last off season, the Patriots added a lot of interior lineman, but all of them had their struggles. The Patriots also just let go of their O-line coach, so their seems to be a lot more questions than answers right now.

Two years ago, the Patriots seemed to make a philosophical shift in what they were looking for in their offensive linemen.  It used to be that the Patriots targeted more athletic guys, giving up strength for speed and movement skills. Recently however, we have seen the team bring in much bigger, “mauler” types. What has happened? There now seems to be a disconnect along the line where none of the pieces seem to work well together and it is looking like it will be a priority for the Patriots to fix. With that in mind, I took a look at small school prospect Joe Haeg.

Name: Joe Haeg (#59)

School: North Dakota State (Sr.)

Height: 6’6″

Weight: 310 Lbs.


Haeg is a former Tight End who converted to Tackle. He has a good frame with room to add more bulk.  He has quick feet to mirror pass rushers and good athleticism to get to the second level to make blocks in the run game. He is a smart player with a lot of game experience and he rarely misses an assignment. Haeg shows good technique in pass protection. He is light on his feet and he moves smoothly in both run and pass protection. He has a frame that looks like it can handle some additional weight and muscle put on it.


The biggest concern for Haeg may be the level of competition that he has gone up against. Another concern I have is strength. Even at the FCS level there were times that he would get knocked back out of his stance and have to re-anchor. He did a nice job of getting back into position, but at the NFL level he may not have the time to do so.  In the run game, he does a nice job using his athleticism to get to the second level, but he can get too far over his feet at times and get himself off balance. He needs to learn to play under control.  From a technical standpoint, he has a lot of work to do on his hand use. Too often he keeps his hands down, allowing defenders to get their hands into his body. This has to be corrected quickly if he is going to have any chance in the NFL. Finally, and I am nitpicking here, but it looked like this year he was a little heavier in the mid section area that negated some of his athleticism. He needs to put on good weight and muscle, which I am sure an NFL strength and conditioning program will do.


I can see why the Patriots are rumored to have spent a lot of time with Haeg. He is a high effort guy that went from walk on to a starting left Tackle for a highly thought of program who has one 5 straight national championships. He is a hard worker that needs some work both physically and from a technique standpoint, but has the potential to be a starter down the road. It will be interesting to see how he does down at the Senior Bowl. I think I would feel most comfortable taking him earlier on Day 3, but because he plays a premium position, he could be a late Day 2 guy.





37 Responses to “Scouting Report: Joe Haeg, OT”

  1. Steve says:

    I liked both OL from Stanford. Murphy looked good at OT. Spriggs from Indiana looked very good at LT. A surprise was Toner from Harvard who looked good in the 1 on 1 drills. Some decent kids on the North squad as well.
    Some good young OT in Free Agency they need to look at to replace Cannon. Schwarz from Clev may be available. Cordy Glenn from Buffalo as well. Adams from Pitt is an interesting kid. Coming off back surgery & spent the yr on PUP list, has just turned 26.
    A healthy Solder is really the key. Brady is running out of time here so we need to fix the OL situation NOW!!

    • steve earle says:

      Wow, Steve your swimming against the tide of opinon, most of us were very disappointed in the OT”s over all. Russell suggested Guys like Murphy were playing out of position , off side, but Spriggs was playing LT as usual. Another thought is it was a new offense with players unaccustomed to one another. As is often the case at the begining of camps offenses are behind Def’s because coordination is off. Could be the case here. Anyway like your hopeful insight into our gloomy thinking.

      • Steve says:

        I guess after watching the Pats OL in Denver anyone who can stay upright looks good! Just trying to be optimistic. And I watched the practices and focused more on them.
        Granted how they performed in the game is another thing.

        • steve earle says:

          The pratices were so different, these guys looked pretty good then so what happened? And it was all of them not just one or two. I can’t figure it out?

  2. Russell says:

    Joe Haeg, to miss senior bowl with shoulder injury. DE Ward also to miss the game with an ankle injury.

  3. Russell says:

    Going over Joshua Perry’s game tape and interviews, this guy is a top prospect, very intelligent. Missing the Senior bowl help’s the Patriots chances to get this guy. I would not be surprised to see coach Belichick move-up, to draft this guy. One of about six guys on my draft board, who is as good as it gets, being a wonderful Patriot “Fit’.

    Many like Jordan Jenkins, I’m not a fan compared to Perry.

  4. Russell says:

    Here’s a list of future contract signed players by the Patriots;
    Joe Vellano DT
    Barker OG
    Carter WR
    Iosefa RB
    Melvin CB
    Milton TE/OL
    Thompson FS
    Vereen S/CB
    Vaughters LB

    • Ryan says:

      It’s good to see Brock Vereen on there. I thought that the Bears went in a little early on him in the 4th round in 2014, but he’s great guy to have on the p-squad for secondary depth.

      • Russell says:

        I like Vereen as well! big surprise to me is Vellano off the Colts P-Squad. Along with Chris Jones coming back from IR, I think Siliga is gone.

        • steve earle says:

          Could be right Russell. I liked Vellano when he was with us before but thought he was misplaced due to his size. My thinking was he should have been played more as a DE then DT though much of that may have been because of injuries. It will be interesting to see if Joe has improved his game.

  5. Russell says:

    Cap space will be needed as the Patriots have this group to resign, or not;
    Ryan Wendel -I think he retires, but a friendly deal may keep him.
    Tavon Wilson- I think he’s resigned only if a friendly deal.
    Akiem Hicks – Resigned for sure.
    Nate Ebner- Again signed only to a friendly deal.
    Justin Coleman- Resigned, yes
    Brandon King – I think resigned.
    Siliga – I doubt he is resigned.
    Develin- ??????
    Waddle- Again a wild card as to his talent, my guess he stays at a friendly deal, the Patriots draft an OT and cut Cannon.
    Blount- ??? A lot depends on Gaffney’s development.
    Tarell Brown- Patriots need to address depth behind Butler, Ryan, Coleman. Roberts Off IR a wild card, Johnson (off Wire) wild card, King development.

    • steve earle says:

      Your assesment looks about right other then Tavon Wilson, I think he’s a gonner. He was a mistake in the first place. If Bill gets Jatavis Brown it becomes a no brainer.

  6. Russell says:

    Football is a business so for the Patriots the cap numbers will play a role in the roster next year.
    Jarod Mayo- 11.4 Mil. I think retires and takes the LB coaching job on Belichick’s staff.
    Scott Chandler- 3 mil. A project that did not work out. Patriots draft a TE, to go with Michael Williams (who worked out well in his role)
    Aaron Dobson- 1 mil. Another drafted WR who is a bust.
    Brandon Lafell-3.6 mil. Patriots are likely to get a free agent WR, Mohamed Sanu? So I think Lafell is done.
    Marcus Cannon- 4.7 mil. A back-up ROT, who did not work-out at LOT or OG. With Vollmer in the last year of his deal at ROT, this is an area for Belichick to make a move on. Drafting an OT is likely, OT LaAdrian Waddle is the wild card, so Cannons future is dependent on several factors.
    Chandler Jones- 7.7 Mil. This one I will get an ear full on, but I don’t see the Patriots signing Hightower, Collins, Butler and Jones. I think Jones is the one out. Jones could be traded for a draft pick. It MUST be more than a 3d, as letting him go 2017 as a free agent, gets you a Compensatory 3d in 2018. However Trading him now opens up cap money, you have Flowers, Grissom, Sheard, and a draft picked DE 2016?
    Food for thought….

    • HDHorvathjr says:

      Think you’re right about Chandler. Big move but Belichick’s made them before. I think you have to keep the other 3 and A. Hicks.

    • Russell says:

      “”IF””…. Chandler Jones is traded look for him to go to Atlanta for their 2nd (#50), before draft day.

      I expect Brian Ferentz will be the next O-line coach in New England, and as I projected Jarod Mayo will be Patriots LB coach.

    • steve earle says:

      I’m having trouble thinking Bill lets Chandler Jones go. His rookie contract isn’t even done and you want to trade him for a couple mid rd. picks. Makes no sense to me I can think of a half dozen other guys who can be let go to make up the differance such as Mayo, Siliga, Wilson, Dobson, Kline, Windell, Cannon and probably a couple more. All these guys can be replaced via the draft or FA for less then they are on the cap for now. Plus what kind of DE do you get to replace him from a mid rd pick? I know we have Flowers and Easley coming back (?) fron IR but are either a sure thing? Jones is!

  7. steve earle says:

    The Las Vegas Raiders? Does this sound strange to anybody else? Could happen !!

  8. Russell says:

    Good Mock Steve; I’ve updated as well;

    2nd pick- TE Nick Vannett, second choice LB Josh Perry

    3d pick is traded to New Orleans for 4th, and 5th.

    3d Comp. pick- LB Antwinoe Williams (if no Perry), second choice, OL Max Turek

    4th (trade)- OL Parker Ehinger

    4th- WR-Alex Erickson

    5th (trade)- LB Curt Meggitt

    6th (Houston)- OL Kyle Friend

    6th Comp. pick- DE Dean Lowery

    7th (Houston)- OL Ryker Mathews

    7th- QB Joel Stave

    • steve earle says:

      I like it Russel. You surprised taking a TE in 2nd but can see wher it could help Gronk. Another kid later could be Tanner McEvoy good height could stand a few more lbs of mussel though. I addressed TE with McGowan with a 7th. I just had to. He’s prob. a FA but I’d really love to see him line up with us for short yd, red zone stuff.

    • steve earle says:

      I see you have 2 6ths and 2 7ths. If I did I’d go with Devon Johnson and McGowan with the 7ths. Could you see some DT on shotr yardage seeing those two behind Brady? Can almost hear him whispering “Oh shhhhhht”. LOL!

  9. Alex says:

    Went to high school and know him pretty well. Very fast feet, long, and smart. Very dedicated, he went to NDSU weighing 190 pounds or so. Good guy, never really ever been in any trouble in his life.

    • steve earle says:

      Good to know he has no flags but not sure he would be an upgrade on any existing o-line?

  10. steve earle says:

    I did my 1st mock draft back on the 22nd. Sense then some events have given me reason to think an adjustment is in order so I’ll try this:

    2) Sterling Shepherd WR Okla. ( for the same reasons as before)
    Alt) Josh Perry OLB Ohio St. ( same reason)

    3) Kyle Murphy ROT Stan. ( same again)
    Alt) Antwan Williams OLB Geo So. ( Russell has reason to expect Mayo moves to LB coach. Reasonable thinking so if we miss on Perry good 2nd choice)

    3 cp) LaRavin Clark OT Tex.T. ( move up, need for upgrade at OL)
    Alt) Eric Murray CB Minn. ( same as before)

    4) Jatavis Brown LB/SS Akron ( Big upgrade depth at SS. Covers sideline to sideline)
    Alt) Tyler Johnstone OT Ore. ( if we miss on one of above OT’s)

    Unknown if we get comp picks or where so just going with a 6th and 7th

    6) Vernon Adams QB Ore. ( undersized but great production. Worth it imo)
    Alt) Jakeem Grant WR Tex.T. ( Remember mini Mack Herron?)

    • steve earle says:

      Opps! forgot 7th:

      7) Devon Johnson RB Marshall ( big thumper between the T’s)
      Alt) LaQuan McGowan TE/FB Baylor ( what the heck it’s a 7th)

  11. Russell says:

    Mike, Take a look at Christian Westerman 6’3″ 296 lbs. Very quick feet, athleticism 33 5/8 arms, 107/8″ hands. Weight room junky, and looks like a true technician on the field. Seems to have a good natural Bend. Shorter for ROT, but looks quick enough. 4th round??
    Makes me think of Ryan Wendel.

  12. Russell says:

    Lions GM Bob Quinn, has hired Kevin Anderson after 10 years with the Patriots as director of player development. Quinn also hired, Kyle O’Brien a former Patriots scout, and Ron Miles a Patriots scouting assistant.

    • steve earle says:

      Sounds like a good move for Detriot.

      • Russell says:

        And The patriots just lost LB coach Patrick Graham to the NYG. I’m projecting Jarod Mayo retires (saving the Patriots nearly $11 mil. in cap space) and is hired as coach Belichicks next LB coach!!!

        • steve earle says:

          That would be a good move for both Mayo and the Pat’s imo. That would mean likely a LB will be taken early.

  13. John says:

    Mark Barron as cheap linebacking depth, anyone? Had solid finish when unitized as LB in St. Louis.

    • steve earle says:

      See above John, Russell is predicting Mayo retires and becomes LB coach. That could make your guy a real possability.

  14. steve earle says:

    One thing seems to be obvious, that is that there is an abundance of talented mid-round o-linemen in the draft so no great preassure to reach. The trick is to identify which one would be the best fit, most productive for the Pats. Now as we have seen over the years mid-rounders can be hit or miss (Kline, Flemming, Windell, Cannon) so if we want a sure thing better to take an early round pick.

  15. Ryan says:

    Haeg screams 4th-rounder to me. Still, if he shows well at the Senior Bowl he’ll probably get taken in the 3rd. Maybe one too many question marks, but if he exceeds expectations at the Senior Bowl he could make sense at the bottom of third, perhaps with a comp pick.

  16. Russell says:

    Don’t know much about Haeg, but he has played both left and right tackle.

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