2007 Draft: Patriots Focus On Another OL

Even after signing Billy Yates, Dan Koppen and Stephen Neal to new contracts, and drafting Logan Mankins in the first round, the New England Patriots may not be done upgrading their offensive line. One top offensive lineman in their year's Draft met with the Patriots, and could be on their Draft board April.

Hawaii center Samson Satele spoke with Scout.com's Ed Thomson recently to discuss his pre draft preparations in an interview that will be published this week on the Scout.com network. Talent like Satele's gets the attention of offensive line coaches and scouts in the NFL, which is why it was no surprise that the New England Patriots are one of the teams that has expressed interest in the offensive lineman.

During the NFL Combine, New England scheduled a formal interview with the 6-foot-2, 300-pound lineman. Satele was a three-year starter primarily at left guard before switching to center for his senior year. His versatility and aggressive style of blocking are the characteristics the Patriots like. The ability to play center or guard is something the Patriots look for from their interior linemen. Russ Hochstein, Gene Mruczkowski, Billy Yates have all learned multiple positions on the offensive line.

Satele is projected as one of the top 2 or 3 centers available and landing him would be a minor coupe for the Patriots who have no second round selection in the Draft. Even with their interest in Satele, it is unlikely that they will use one of their first round picks on an offensive lineman after signing center Dan Koppen to a new 5-year contract in 2006, spending a first round pick on guard Logan Mankins in 2005, and signing guard Stephen Neal

Other teams that have shown interest in Satele include Baltimore, Denver, Arizona, Washington and Kansas City.


Scout.com Draft Snapshot: Samson Satele

(Photo: CW Pack Sports)

The Buzz: Considered to be one of the top two centers in this draft even though he was primarily a three-year starter at left guard until his senior year ... strong, aggressive player who has terrific footwork and is highly alert, using his peripheral vision well from the center position ... "What makes Sam special is his attitude. He's not your typical O-lineman standing there to protect. He's not this happy-go-lucky guy. He goes out there and he punishes you. When you have some of the toughest, baddest D-linemen trying to get you, it's nice to have a center like Sam, who's twice as nasty and twice as mean. He's punishing D-linemen all game." -- Hawaii QB Colt Brennan ... "If you play in June Jones' system, you know how to pass-block. "That is not a skill for a lot of (college linemen).  A lot of (prospects) are solid run-blockers, but they don't have an idea how to pass block." -- Jerry Jones, draft analyst ... Very smart, makes good offensive line adjustments before the snap ...  "I would be hard-pressed to find a better center in college football. He's a complete center." -- Hawaii offensive line coach Dennis McKnight who was an NFL offensive lineman for 10 years.

Noteworthy: Started every game for the Warriors beginning his freshman year, setting a record at Hawaii with 53 consecutive starts ... Ran the 20-yard shuttle in 4.29 seconds and recorded a vertical jump of 33 1/2 at the NFL Combine, both of which were top scores amongst offensive linemen ... In high school, lettered three times in basketball and in track (shotput, discus) and was his high school's Athlete of the Year for the 2000 - 2001 school year --  All-WAC first team his senior year ... During his 53-game career at Hawaii, he was credited with 177 knockdown blocks. 

For more on Samson Satele, visit his player profile page.

Ed Thompson of Scout.com and ColtPower.com contributed to this report. You can find more of his articles by searching for Ed Thompson in the archives.


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