Insider's scoop on Pat Ross the offensive center/guard the Patriots signed to the practice squad on October 9, 2007.
Name: Pat Ross Pos: OC/OG
Draft Status: UDFA-2006 Date acquired: 10/09/2007
Who is he?
From Pete Kendall to New England's own Dan Koppen, Boston College is known for producing great offensive linemen. Ross might make a similar name for himself with a Patriots franchise able to extract positive results from trench warriors who reside under the radar. Recruited as a defensive tackle, Ross eventually switched positions and started his final 37 games at BC. He was known as a leader of, and mentor for, younger players. He won the 2005 Scanlan Award, which is the highest accolade a BC football player can receive. Ross was regarded as a very heady player who could pick up plays and bark out line calls with aplomb.
What has he done?
From an NFL standpoint, there's some concern about a lack of bulk at 6'4" and about 300 pounds. Ross was signed as an undrafted free agent by the Seahawks on May 1, 2006. He saw a little time in preseason, but was lost in the shuffle as Robbie Tobeck's age and Chris Spencer's development had the Seattle center position busy enough. He spent the 2006 season on the practice squad, and the Seahawks gave him an injury settlement in September of 2007.
How can he help?
Its hard to evaluate a player I haven't really seen on a regular basis, but Ross certainly has the college experience to make a go of it in the NFL, and perhaps a return to Massachusetts will be just what the doctor ordered.
PI's Take: How He Fits
New England is hoping to find the next Dan Koppen as they pursue players who have experienced success at the college level and come from programs the Patriots have familiarity. Patriots offensive line coach Dante Scarnecchia has traveled the country in pursuit of quality youngsters who can be groomed into reserve and eventual starting roles for the Patriots roster. Scarnecchia is hoping that Ross represents one of those types of players.
For now, the Patriots need to add depth to an offensive line that continues to suffer injuries to the center and guard positions. Russ Hochstein filled in for the injured Dan Koppen recently, as well as an injured Stephen Neal. If protecting Tom Brady is considered important, then development of depth behind the starting five must be high on the agenda. With Scarnecchia's history of developing late round picks into starters (Koppen 5th round, Neal UDFA), Scarnecchia is looking to turn Ross into another one of those valuable pickups.
We don't expect Ross to join the active roster in the near future, his acquisition is more of a look-see to determine if he has enough potential to eventually become a valuable reserve such as Hochstein and Billy Yates -- players who can fill in as needed along the offensive line when the starter goes down.
Pre-Draft scouting report by TFY Draft Preview (March 2006)
Name: Pat Ross School: Boston College Year: 5Sr
Ht: 6-3.5 Wt: 301 40: 4.97 POs: C
Bio: Three-year starter and All-Big East player as a junior.
POs: Hardworking, durable blocker with an excellent feel for the position. Quick into blocks and explosive at the point. Quarterbacks the offensive line, remains alert and helps out teammates. Effectively uses angles and walls defenders from the play. Can slide in space and adjust on the inside.
Neg: Lacks the dominant base, and is not a finisher who opens up the middle of the field.
Analysis: Dependable and durable in college, Ross is a prospect with marginal upside. Must add bulk to his frame, but intangibles, work ethic and toughness make him worth keeping around.
Insider Analysis courtesy of Doug Farrar, editor-in-chief of Seahawks.NET and a staff writer for FootballOutsiders.com. PatriotsInsider.com's take was written by Jon Scott, Patriots Insider lead analyst.