Marcus Cannon's improvements give Patriots tackle stability
- In 2015, Cannon ranked 53rd out of 75 qualified offensive tackles with a pass-blocking efficiency rating of 93.3 (PBE measures pressure allowed on a per-snap basis with weighting toward sacks allowed). In 2016, both Cannon and Solder were tied for 13th among 74 qualified tackles with a 96.2 PBE.
- Cannon was thrown into the fire in 2015 after a plethora of injuries to the offensive line and ended up finishing the year ranked 58th out of 77 qualified tackles with an overall grade of 43.0. In 2016, Cannon’s overall grade shot all the way up to 89.4, which ranked him third-best among tackles.
- Nate Solder had great second and third seasons back in 2012 (84.0 overall) and 2013 (85.1) before his play dipped a bit in 2014 (73.6) and he lost most of the 2015 season due to injury. A return from that injury in 2016 found Solder playing back at the level that he showed in those earlier seasons (84.4, 19th among tackles).
- The Patriots could target a tackle such as Conor McDermott late in the draft. McDermott is a strong pass-blocker, ranking seventh among Power-5 draft-eligible tackles with a PBE of 97.4, McDermott allowed just 18 total pressures on 540 pass blocking snaps. McDermott needs work as a run-blocker though, his run-block success rate of 89.4 percent ranked 71st among draft-eligible tackles and his run-blocking grade dropped from 79.0 in 2014 down to 57.2 in 2016.