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Patriots No. 6 pick scouting report: OT Marcus Cannon, TCU

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Posted April 30, 2011 @ 2:03 p.m. ET
By Kevin Fishbain

The Patriots made another value pick by drafting Marcus Cannon in the fifth round, a player who was once projected to go late in the first round. Cannon's been diagnosed with non-Hodgkin's lymphoma and will undergo chemotherapy, but it is treatable with a 90 percent chance of full recovery. Cannon is the second potential early-round talent that slipped to the Patriots. New England took Arkansas QB Ryan Mallett in the third round on Friday. With so many picks and many starters returning, they can afford to take Cannon and can be patient as he recovers. What follows is Nolan Nawrocki's scouting report (written before the lymphoma diagnosis) on Cannon from the 2011 Draft Preview book:

Notes: Also lettered in basketball, track and field and powerlifting as a prep. Redshirted in 2006. Backed up at tackle in '07 (13 games), then started 11-of-13 games at right tackle in '08. Did not play against UNLV (left ankle) or Brigham Young (concussion). Started all 13 games at right tackle in '09. Moved to left tackle in '10 and started all 12 games in which he played. Did not play against Tennessee Tech (ankle).

Positives: Rare size, agility and bend for a big man - carries his weight very well for his size and has a well-distributed frame. Can block out the sun with his sheer girth, cover up defenders in the run game and create a surge. Is seldom on the ground. Shows the ability to recover if he gets out of position. Can mirror his man and control defenders with his hands. Works hard and wants to improve. Very durable. Versatile and can play inside or outside. Outstanding upper-body strength - bench-pressed 225 pounds 33 times, tying for the most of any offensive tackle at the Combine.

Negatives: Plays too soft and casual - absorbs contact more than he initiates it and needs to learn how to play with more physicality at the point. Inconsistent hand use - tends to go wide of the target. Not a finisher. Does not play with the power in his body. Lacks football savvy and is still learning how to adjust to and pick up the blitz - brain freezes show up against pressure packages. Average lateral agility to slide and adjust to movement.

Summary: A massive-bodied, dancing bear who does not play big or nasty, but has the natural girth, arm length, balance and agility to handle playing on the left or right side. Showed improvement late in the season in his first year on the blind side and has the pure mass that may be best suited for the interior. May take a year to get acclimated to the pro game but possesses clear starter potential and upside to develop into a solid starter. 

NFL projection: Top-50 pick.

 

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