The New England Patriots dwindling receiver corps snatched up most of the attention this offseason. Surprisingly little has been discussed about the biggest question mark on the roster back in May: Who would protect Tom Brady's blind side?
The left tackle role has been stunningly stable during the Brady-Belichick era. Matt Light manned the spot for 10 years before handing off to Nate Solder, who slid in from 2012-2017. After Solder signed a whopping contract in New York this offseason, for the first time in years questions arose about who would handle the blind side of a 41-year-old quarterback.
Trent Brown shut down those questions quickly.
The massive man, listed at 6-foot-8 380 pounds, impressed the coaching staff and locked down the starting gig from the get-go.
"As you can see, he has some dynamic skills, and he's working hard to be a really good player on every down," offensive line coach Dante Scarnecchia told ESPN's Mike Reiss. "I think that's something that's been encouraging as we've gone."
The Patriots acquired Brown in a mid-draft trade with the San Francisco 49ers in exchange for moving down 48 picks. The 49ers gave away a young, raw player after drafting tackle Mike McGlinchey in the first round.
New England was happy to take on a player who was still growing.
Brown was given the first crack at replacing Solder this summer. He hasn't given up the gig since.
"This is a really compliant guy," Scarnecchia said. "You say, 'Hey Trent, we got to' and he'll do it. He wants to be better. You can't ask for more than that."
Brown started 26 games the past two seasons in San Francisco manning the right tackle spot. He ended the 2017 season on IR with a shoulder injury.
A massive man, Brown has the traits to be a mauler, and flashed potential at times with the Niners. There were also days he looked every bit a young, raw blocker, getting burned and picking up penalties.
New England believes it can harness the good and negate the bad in Brown.
"He definitely has the skills to play out there. There's no doubt," Scarnecchia said. "He's long, he's big, he's a powerful guy. We like what we see, and we'll just have to see how it looks when everything gets going here."
Here ends the latest edition of our thrilling series of tales about the Patriots taking another's castoff and putting him into a prominent role. If Brown works out as Scarnecchia suggests, the Patriots might have just unearthed their left tackle for the foreseeable future.