FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- The pick: Cameron Fleming, offensive tackle, Stanford (140th)
My take: After not selecting an offensive lineman in the 2012 and 2013 drafts, the Patriots double-dipped this year, first with center Bryan Stork (4th round, 105th) and then Fleming. This is important from a feed-the-pipeline and salary-cap integrity standpoint. Specific to Fleming, the pick strikes me as "Marcus Cannon Insurance." Cannon enters the final year of his contract and he's proven to be a starting caliber player who could be worthy of a lucrative contract next offseason that the Patriots might not be able to match. There also is an element of "Sebastian Vollmer Insurance" as well, as the team's starting right tackle is recovering from a broken ankle sustained last October and has battled injuries at times over his career.
Size stands out: Fleming is listed at 6-foot-4 7/8 and 323 pounds. It just so happened that Stanford coach David Shaw was on NFL Network at the time of the pick, and he said, "The first thing that stands out is size." Shaw added that 323 pounds might be generous. Fleming was an Aeronautics and Astronautics major at Stanford.
What's next: The Patriots have three sixth-round picks (179, 198, 206) and a seventh-rounder (244).