Advertisement

Pats draft pick Caedan Wallace ‘super confident' playing left tackle

Pats draft pick Caedan Wallace ‘super confident' playing left tackle originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston

After getting their new quarterback Drake Maye a weapon in Round 2 of the 2024 NFL Draft, the New England Patriots got him some protection up front in Round 3.

New England followed its selection of Washington wide receiver Ja'Lynn Polk by taking Penn State offensive tackle Caedan Wallace with the 68th overall pick. Both moves addressed major positional needs on an offense that struggled mightily throughout the 2023 campaign.

Wallace's arrival, however, came with one giant question mark. The 6-foot-5, 314-pounder spent most of his time (40 starts) playing right tackle for the Nittany Lions. That position is already set with Mike Onwenu, who signed a three-year, $57 million deal this offseason to stay in New England.

Just how confident is Wallace in his ability to switch over to the left side? The 24-year-old answered that question during his introductory press conference.

"Super confident," he replied. "I mean, I play every position on the line. I'm just excited to get there and learn from some great coaches and get after it."

That's encouraging news given the current state of the o-line. The Patriots signed veteran left tackle Chukwuma Okorafor to a one-year deal in February, but they need all the depth they can get up front coming off what was a tumultuous season for the unit.

"I would just describe my game as physical and intelligent," Wallace added. "I'm a baller and I can't wait to bring that to the league. I'm excited to get out there and just learn more about the game and just grind."

Pats de facto general manager Eliot Wolf expressed confidence in Wallace's versatility.

"He was a guy that we felt was athletic enough to possibly make the switch over on the left side. Really good pass-protector, really took a huge step forward this year as a four-year starter. Athletic, can bend, strong, powerful, tough. Could possibly play guard, think he could be a four-position guy. But definitely feel like he can play on the left side."

Wolf noted that Polk and Wallace were players they were targeting, and that Day 2 of the draft "fell really nice for us." He'll hope to have the same luck on Day 3, during which New England currently owns five picks from Rounds 4 to 7.

The final day of the 2024 NFL Draft begins at 12 p.m. ET on Saturday.