Patriots Draft: Targeting The Beast

The Senior Bowl is a place where many scouts, coaches and front office types get their first real look at players who could potentially help them the following season. Bill Belichick and Scott Pioli huddled with New England scouts after they got up close with one player on nearly everyone's wish list. Fortunately for Tom Brady, the Patriots have him on theirs as well.

With just two years of experience on the offensive line, Charles Spencer is a prospect with tremendous upside potential. His solid play since the end of the season has teams scrambling as they keep pushing him up their internal draft boards. The Patriots, faced with a dilemma of how to improve their run blocking and pass protection at the same time may have already met the solution.

Spencer is a load. At 6-foot-5, 330-pounds the Poughkeepsie, NY native delivers the kind of hits that blow defenders off the ball. After earning praise from Tennessee Titans offensive line coach Mike Munchak during Senior Bowl week for his blocking, Spencer has garnered attention from nearly every team in the NFL.

Spencer began his career at defensive tackle and earned second team All-Big East in his first year on the offensive line at left guard. This past season he was moved to left tackle, making one of the least common transitions in the game.

TFY Draft Preview reported that New England representatives interviewed Spencer at the Senior Bowl. It makes sense they would want to learn more about a prospect who could solve a lot of problems for them. Having watched their running game dwindle from seventh-best in the league in 2004 to dead last at one point in 2005, the Patriots desperately want to solve that problem and believe he could be the answer.

Part of the issue was the volume of injuries to both the backs and the line, but those injuries didn't explain why New England was never able to get back on track when healthy bodies were thrown into the mix.

The Patriots may make wholesale changes on their line in 2006, or they may just tweak it a bit. In either scenario, a road grader like Spencer could prove invaluable.

Labeled a mauler, Spencer has the power to deal with the best defenders in college. At the Senior Bowl, he was the only lineman to pancake Michigan defender Gabe Watson in practice. The feat of leveling a 6-foot-4, 340-pound rock on the defensive line, only served to solidify everyone's opinion that Spencer is "Grade A" in terms of offensive line talent. (See practice notes - link).

Spencer spoke with about a number of topics, including playing offensive tackle and guard, his aggressiveness, and his belief on run blocking:

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

Listen to Audio   (Windows Media Player required)

Related: Profile | Scouting Report | Top Ranked OGs | NFL Scouts Get Busy at Senior Bowl | Senior Bowl 2006: Scouting the Scene | Senior Bowl North Team Practice Reports | Draft: Beast In The Middle | Official Bio

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