Insiders: Colmer Visits With Patriots

<P>Building through the draft has been the key to the Patriots sustained success. When injuries hit, the team somehow finds a way to have it's rookies step up their play to compensate. Once again New England scouts turn their attention to the draft to fill a position of need, the offensive line.</P><P>Patriots Insider has learned that another prospect is scheduled to speak with the team as the draft approaches.</P>

Insiders: Colmer Visits With The Patriots
Patriots Insider Staff

North Carolina State offensive tackle Chris Colmer is what many experts consider a promising candidate for the next level. He has the size, the courage, and the skills to become an anchor on some team's offensive line for years. Colmer recently agreed to visit the Patriots as they complete their draft plans by addressing those final concerns they have about his health as they complete their file on him.

Colmer, 6-foot-5, 305 pounds, missed the 2003 season with a viral infection and he felt he had to play in 2004 or he would lose out on his chance to play in the NFL. During the 2002 season, Colmer led the Pack with 151 knockdowns, considered a school record. He started every game of the season for NC State at left tackle and was actually selected to play in the Senior Bowl but the aforementioned surgery kept him on the sidelines.

A four year starter for the Wolfpack, Colmer was an anchor the Pack relied upon to protect their quarterback. Wolfpack head coach Chuck Amato spoke about the difficulty of having to replace a guy like him on the offensive line due to his injury.

" We didn’t know if Chris Colmer was going to be able to play or not," Amato said. "He ended up playing, but he probably wasn’t 100 percent, and because of that, he didn’t get into tip-top shape until about maybe halfway into the season."

Yet, not being in "tip-top shape" Colmer still managed perform well enough to get selected for the Senior Bowl.

Colmer missed some of the Senior Bowl festivities due to surgery he had on his torn rotator cuff in late November. He played the entire season with the injury and performed well. Colmer took home the team's Ken McNeil Iron Wolf Award, given annually to a player who has comeback from an injury.

Scout's Profile on Colmer:

Bio: Four-year starter who consistently graded out higher as one of NC State’s top blockers. Missed the ‘03 season with Parsonage Turner Syndrome, a viral infection in his shoulder.

Positives: Big, physical blocker who plays with outstanding intelligence. Patient, quickly picks up assignments and remains alert throughout the action. Stays square, keeps opponents in front and a solid position blocker who walls defenders from the action. Effectively uses blocking angles and displays the ability to slide in a small area. Nasty, plays with an aggressive attitude and attacks assignments. Strong at the point and jolts defenders with his hands. Turns opponents off the line opening holes for the running game.

Negatives: Lacks adjustment and has difficulty with nimble opponents. Marginal skills in motion. According to coaches, played in pain most of last season as a result of the ailment suffered two-years ago.

Analysis: A well-sized lineman with the ability to be used at either tackle spots, Colmer offers a solid combination of brute strength and football intelligence. Grades highly based on his play, yet durability concerns and his most recent medical condition will send up several red flags and push him into the late rounds.

Colmer has the size to be a starter in the NFL. The questions about him now are; has he recovered fully from his injury, and what round can the Patriots wait to take him in?

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