About the Author
Recent posts by Nolan Nawrocki
ORT Sebastian Vollmer
New England Patriots
Height: 6-7¼ Weight: 314 Speed: 5.30e
Notes: Born in Germany, where he played football as a club sport growing up. Was not fluent in English when he arrived at University of Houston and redshirted in 2004. Played eight games as both a reserve tight end and tackle in '05 and did not play in '06 after undergoing surgery to repair a herniated disk in his back. Returned to start all 26 games at left tackle from 2007-08. Did not receive an invite to the NFL Scouting Combine, but was selected by New England in the second round (58th overall) of the '09 draft and signed a four-year contract. Started 8-of-14 games in which he played as a rookie — five at left tackle and three at right tackle. Missed two games with a head injury. Has started all 14 games at right tackle this season.
Positives: Has very well-distributed mass and carries his weight well. Sets strong in pass protection and has good power in his punch — jolts defenders with authority. Can handle power and seal lanes. Flashes a mean streak. Matched up very well against the tenacity of Bears DE Israel Idonije. Gives great effort and plays past the whistle. Extremely smart, and recovers surprisingly well with a great understanding of angles and leverage. Versatile and has shown he can adapt equally well to playing on either the right side or the left side.
Negatives: Is tight in the hips. Will overset and flip his shoulders and can be susceptible to inside counter moves. Tends to lean and lunge and get overextended. Was stressed to the outside by the Colts' edge speed. Can improve his functional strength. Is inconsistent fitting on the second level and athletic limitations show up on the move. Long-term durability concerns forced him to be removed from draft boards prior to the 2009 NFL draft — was hobbled by a herniated disk in college and missed time with a head injury as an NFL rookie.
Summary: Made a mint with a strong performance at the East-West Shrine game. A very dependable performer when healthy, Vollmer has performed as well as any offensive tackle from the 2009 draft class, outplaying Jason Smith and Eugene Monroe. Brought much-needed versatility to New England's offensive line. His size, smarts and temperment fit extremely well in the Patriots' zone-blocking scheme, and he has emerged as a very solid starter with upside to be groomed into the team's left tackle of the future, as OLT Matt Light is set to hit free agency.