Patriots Draft: Dante's Quest For A Lineman

New England Patriots offensive line coach/assistant head coach Dante Scarnecchia has been in charge of his unit since Bill Belichick arrived in Foxborough. It's Scarnecchia's ability to find true workhorses for the trenches that has been one of the primary keys to the Patriots success over the years. Scarnecchia worked out another little known prospect who fits the Patriots philosophy perfectly.

According to a league source, University of Akron offensive lineman Andy Alleman worked out privately for New England Patriots line coach Dante Scarnecchia. Alleman, an underrated guard prospect has been climbing draft boards. The Patriots are fond of hard-working blue-collar types of linemen, and Alleman fits that description perfectly.

TFY Draft Preview believes Alleman is fully capable to be a contributor for any team needing interior line help:

Continually improving his game, Alleman has made terrific strides the past two years. Has the ability to add bulk and strength to his frame, and could develop into a starter at the next level.

But why New England? The Patriots have three starters, two of which have been given contract extensions in the past few seasons, and the other was drafted in first round in 2005.

That much is true, the Patriots did indeed extend center Dan Koppen and guard Stephen Neal's contracts. Guard Logan Mankins was a first round pick in 2005. But, New England has shuffled the roster behind those starters constantly. Russ Hochstein holds the primary backup responsibilities, with Billy Yates and Gene Mruczkowski backing him up. The depth behind the three starters has been in constant state of change with Hochstein filling in initially while Yates -- who resigned earlier this off-season -- and Mruczkowski have been fighting to remain on the roster.

Alleman would be a solid fit in New England, providing the type of run blocking support needed to re-establish the Patriots ground attack. With the Patriots looking at a number of top interior linemen it could mean that they feel it's necessary to upgrade the position.

The Ohio native knows the meaning of commitment. After suffering a major knee injury playing on defense for his team, Alleman felt that he'd do it again even if it meant having to miss time rehabbing. To him, it was more about helping his team win than it was about personal glory.

Akron OL Andy Allerman. (Photo Jeff Harwell, Zips Sports Photography)


Doug Farrar, Editor-in-chief of spoke recently with the Akron product about his struggles to get back into form after the injury.

"People wonder, 'What's wrong with Andy?' I'm hungry. I'm ready to go. I wouldn't change a thing about what I've had to go through. It not only made me tougher, but gave me the ability to take things on mentally."

So is Alleman the type of player the Patriots would consider? If type is defined as ability and personality, there's little doubt he could fit in well at Foxborough. Alleman is selfless, able and willing to do what it takes to succeed whatever that entails. He works hard to perfect his game and is proud of being able to do more than just one thing. Known for having a mauler's mentality and blocking with a "nasty streak," he would be an ideal candidate to take over on the line when needed.

"I want to be labeled as a great all-around guard," Alleman said. "Whether that (involves) pulling or pancaking, I want to be known as someone who can do whatever is asked of him."

The former Zip fits the profile of other linemen the Patriots like from smaller schools. Neal was signed as an undrafted free agent out of UC Bakersfield, while tackle Nick Kaczur was selected by the Patriots in the third round of the 2005 Draft from little known Toledo.

Alleman is just one of a number of linemen Scarnecchia has worked out. For more names, check the Patriots Insider Visitor / workout list in the INSIDER LOUNGE.

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