Olu Fashanu might be the best offensive tackle in this year’s draft class, but landing Notre Dame’s Joe Alt should hardly be considered settling for second-best.
Each year everyone gets quarterback crazy and tries to mock them to teams with even a hint of uncertainty at the position. New England has more of a stench when it comes to Mac Jones and whether he’s the franchise’s future, but it’s not worth reaching for Bo Nix or J.J. McCarthy this high up in the order.
Instead the Patriots can land one of the best tackles in the draft to protect Jones or whoever ends up under center in 2024 and beyond. Alt just feels like a Belichick pick, as it’s an unsexy position group to use a Top 5 pick on but could be the type of move that adds an anchor that the offense can build around for years to come.
Tom Brady is irreplaceable, but he had some pretty great offensive lineman in front of him during the height of the Patriots dynasty. Those days are long gone, and it seems like the Patriot Way is a relic of the past, but strong offensive line play is tried and true when it comes to teams that win Super Bowls.
Belichick’s weakness has been an inability to draft well, but Alt is as close to a can’t-miss guy as he’s going to get.