The New England Patriots had a transaction busy day on Sunday when they acquired two offensive linemen to improve their tackle position.
The Patriots announced they acquired OL Verderian Lowe in a trade with the Minnesota Vikings, giving up a sixth-round pick, according to NFL reporter Aaron Wilson on Twitter. New England also traded RB Pierre Strong Jr. to the Cleveland Browns for offensive tackle, Tyrone Wheatley Jr.
24 year old Verderian Lowe enters the Patriots in his second year after he was drafted in the 6th round (184th overall) out of Illinois in the 2022 NFL draft. As a rookie, Lowe played in four games for the Vikings. The 6-foot-6, 320-pound OL recorded 33 total snaps last season.
Despite his lack of true NFL experience, the Patriots are hoping that Lowe can help bolster their offensive tackle. New England struggled immensely at this position during the pre-season, and have yet to find anybody that can stay healthy and effective.
Adding to their offensive tackle depth is Tyrone Wheatley Jr. Wheatley is the son of former Michigan star and NFL RB, Tyrone Wheatley. He entered the NFL as a rookie free agent with the Chicago Bears in 2021 out of Stony Brook. Wheatley was then released in 2022, was signed by the Las Vegas Raiders, but then spent most of his time with the Cleveland Browns practice squad.
Wheatley hopefully gives the Patriots some much needed strength at the OL position that has been plagued by injuries, inconsistency, and age. At 6-foot-6, 320 pounds, and only 26 years old, he can develop immensely in Belichick’s system.
Wheatley's got long, strong arms and good mobility to mirror pass rushers
Gets in trouble when he drops his head or over-extends. Hand placement + strike timing could also use improvement pic.twitter.com/SAjU7IntTz
— Taylor Kyles (@tkyles39) August 27, 2023
Wheatley Jr. offers the Patriots strong arms, mobility, and versatility. He “played both OT spots with the Browns and is a converted tight end, which shows when he has to get out in front of tackles or climb to the second level,” said Patriots beat reporter Taylor Kyles of CLNS Media.
There was arguably no bigger weakness to the Patriot’s roster than the right tackle position last season. It was thought to be that the organization’s biggest priority heading into the 2023-2024 NFL season was to obtain a game changer at this position. Instead, they re-signed Conor McDermott, signed Riley Reiff and Calvin Anderson, and drafted Sidy Sow in the fourth round.
All of these players at right tackle are either currently hurt, have battled illnesses, or are severely inconsistent thus far. Tyrone Wheatley Jr. has yet to play a regular season NFL game, but does flash some potential. Verderian Lowe has seen the most NFL action out of the two newcomers, but there are still no clues who will start at left tackle for the Patriots once the first regular season game comes.
The Patriots had to trade for tackles because of injuries
We still don’t know how good the OL can be since Onwenu and Anderson haven’t played and Strange has been out since the first week of camp
As I’ve been saying, most teams have to cover up one weak link, and good ones can
— Taylor Kyles (@tkyles39) August 29, 2023
The Patriots face off against the Philadelphia Eagles at home on Sunday, September 10th, for their first regular season game of the 2023-2024 NFL season.