Bill Belichick made a point of addressing the offensive line in this year’s draft, taking three linemen on the last day. Whether they will start this season is unclear, since all three are late-round selections, but there’s nothing wrong with getting younger and bigger on the o-line. I’ve already told you about the first new Patriot lineman off the board, now meet the second: Pick 140 (4th round), offensive tackle Cameron Fleming.
1. Cameron Fleming is one smart cookie. Not only did he attend Stanford University, which is enough to make the rest of us feel inadequate, he majored in Aeronautics and Astronautics. Before you ask, I don’t know what that is either.
2. Fleming is a former basketball player. At 6’5’’ and 323 pounds, he’s not exactly in the same mold as NFL hoopsters Antonio Gates or Jimmy Graham, but Fleming does have more athletic ability than the average fat guy in the trenches.
3. He is durable, playing 39 of a possible 41 games in his three-year tenure as a starter at right tackle.
4. Behind his line, Stanford piled up a school-record 2,904 rushing yards in 2013. He’s also used to protecting an elite quarterback, allowing Andrew Luck to throw a school-record 37 touchdowns in 2011.
5. His former coach at Stanford, David Shaw, says this of Fleming: “The bottom line is he doesn’t get beat[…]A guy like this fits perfectly with Bill Belichick’s personality and what they do schematicly.”