Patriots Draft: Top Tackle Interview

Tackles in the NFL, especially on the left side, are the most valued of all linemen and for good reason. A left tackle protects the quarterback's blind side, and is expected to do so many times without help. It's also one reason they're so valuable. Losing a starting LT -- as the Patriots did in 2005 -- can disrupt an offense or force it to be more conservative. One little known tackle from Alaska is drawing plenty of interest from NFL teams. The Patriots can quietly hope he falls to them at 21.

Boise State offensive tackle Daryn Colledge isn't your typical lineman. He is built more like a linebacker but believes that gives him an advantage heading into the NFL as he can block at the point of attack with his strength and still get to the second level effectively with his speed.

They don't come much tougher than Daryn Colledge. He grew up in North Pole, Alaska right outside Fairbanks before heading to Boise State where he played in every game during his collegiate career.

Colledge had scouts scurrying to his side at the Senior Bowl with representatives from the Green Bay Packers, Baltimore Ravens, Cleveland Browns, San Diego Chargers, Atlanta Falcons and Denver Broncos among the teams showing the most interest.

Scouts believe he has upside potential and is still raw after not playing much in high school. With an athletic body built for power and speed, Colledge represents many of the characteristics line coaches rave about. Strong at the point of attack and quick on his feet, he was able to use his body to fend off defenders' bull rushes and speed moves.

The Boise State lineman turned in a solid performance in Mobile as a member of the North's team. He handled the South team's outstanding pass rushers, including Elvis Dumervil of Louisville, Mark Anderson of Alabama and Manny Lawson of North Carolina State. Colledge proved why he would be chosen early in April's NFL Draft.

The Patriots aren't exactly looking for a new left tackle in the Draft, but a player with the attributes of Colledge's would make them think twice before passing him by. Having already shown interest in a number of offensive tackles ranked slightly ahead and behind the Alaska native, including Marcus McNeill and Ryan O'Callaghan, it's easy to see how New England could be interested in acquiring his services.

Matt Light is expected to make a full recovery from a broken leg to man the left tackle position in 2006 for the Patriots, but a number of other positions may open up on the right side. Adding Colledge would not only give New England a talented blocker who's athletic enough to pass protect well and drive defenders off the ball, but it might fill some potential holes caused by free agency. Free-agents-to-be, guard Stephen Neal and tackle Tom Ashworth, are yet to be resigned. Both were given one-year tenders last year and it's not yet clear if the team will retain their services.

Colledge spoke to our's Denis Savage on a number of topics, including his ability to pass block, run block on the second level, his maturity and more.

You can listen to the interview by clicking on the link below.

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Related: Profile | Scouting Report | Top Ranked OTs | NFL Scouts Get Busy at Senior Bowl | Senior Bowl 2006: Scouting the Scene | Senior Bowl North Team Practice Reports

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