The defending Super Bowl Champs have been very busy this offseason, making several moves to solidify their roster. The Patriots have flipped draft picks for proven NFL talent relentlessly to try and repeat in 2017, leaving them with only 6 draft picks, none of which are in the top 2 Rounds.
That being said, the Patriots don’t have many needs as we head into draft weekend; especially when it comes to the offensive side of the ball, which bodes well for them since they have limited picks this year. One need however, can be pinpointed on offense, is the Offensive Line. The Pats traditionally have held the Offensive Line in very high regard when it comes to the Draft and consistently draft Offensive Lineman in April, including Sean’s Father Pat Harlow, who was drafted 11th overall by New England in the 91’ Draft. Much of this has to do with the value of keeping their QB upright and due to Hall of Fame Offensive Line Coach, Dante Scarnecchia (Coach Scar) being at the helm.
The Pats have two picks on Day 2 and four picks on Day 3. Sean Harlow is viewed as a late rounder(Day 3) and is seen by many as a sleeper and great value pick this draft season.
Harlow was four year starter at OSU, starting 37 games (23 at Left Tackle and 14 at Right) for the Beavs and was a leader both on and off the field.
Harlow raised some eyebrows as a true Freshman in 2013, when he was thrust into the starting lineup, game four against SDSU. The young Beaver entered mid-game at Right Tackle, due to an injury to starting Center Josh Mitchell, and he never looked rattled. Harlow never looked back either starting the remaining 9 games at Right Tackle. His toughness and instincts were on full display as a true freshman, and would continue to evolve through his OSU career.
Through his next 3 seasons, Harlow never left the starting lineup, and practiced at every position on the Offensive Line each Spring. Beginning his Sophomore Season starting at Right Tackle for the first five games, and then switching to Left Tackle the final seven games, where he would stay for the rest of his career. His best season was his Senior campaign in 2016, where coming off a severe ankle injury in 2015, Harlow was able to battle back into the starting lineup by week 4 against Colorado. Again showing his mental and physical toughness to overcome an injury and put the team above everything else. The Team Captain started the final nine games of the season at Left Tackle, earning second team All-Pac-12 honors and propelling the Beavers to set an OSU single-season rushing record of 5.2 yards per carry.
Many believe that Harlow will need to kick inside in the NFL, due to his size and arm length. However, Harlow’s aggressiveness, IQ, and motor should allow him to be effective anywhere on the Line, especially with him learning from Coach Scar. Watch his aggressiveness and ability to finish blocks on both run and pass plays:
His ability to stay with his man and finish blocks:
So Oregon State's Sean Harlow is a pretty impressive player. pic.twitter.com/xoOLrySM7K— Kyle Crabbs (@NDTScouting) March 17, 2017
Ability to seal a block that leads to a red zone score:
Harlow doesn’t play tentatively or let the play come to him... he attacks:
Rough snap there for #33. Sean Harlow & the LG had their way with him here. pic.twitter.com/x3sTd0X76Y— jefferson steelflex (@WurthDraft) August 22, 2016
Harlow has the ability to pull which is key at the next level especially as an OG:
I love when left tackles can pull and do their job on the kick-out. Then Sean Harlow continues up field & lays out a guy. #77 is a GRINDER pic.twitter.com/oX8TzVQJZK— Russell Brown (@RussNFLDraft) March 21, 2017
Harlow’s ability to get to the next level and drive defenders to the whistle will also be something that the Pats and Coach Scar would welcome in New England:
Watched some Oregon State LT Sean Harlow last night. He does a nice job in the run game for combo blocking the end and moving to 2nd level pic.twitter.com/FkSTZP5hax— Billy (@BillyM_91) March 26, 2017
Just like his pops, Harlow has a mean streak and the aggression that’s key to success in the trenches. But he can do this in both run AND pass situations:
Love Sean Harlow's on-field demeanor. pic.twitter.com/gO50QMU5tC— jefferson steelflex (@WurthDraft) August 4, 2016
This is what an OL should do when a DL tries to jump. Sean Harlow pic.twitter.com/jN5Wpy1bdk— jefferson steelflex (@WurthDraft) July 27, 2016
Big fan of Oregon State LT Sean Harlow's demeanor. Very nice mean streak. pic.twitter.com/4ixpxCcAjT— jefferson steelflex (@WurthDraft) July 27, 2016
The Pats love value picks and often times select players much sooner than other teams would have. The same theme may ring true this Draft with Harlow, as he is seen as a “project” by many NFL scouts. And Harlow may very well be a project at the next level, but in the proper system and with the right coaching, Harlow may surprise some people how fast he can acclimate and contribute to an NFL roster.
A team that loaded up on skill positions during the offseason, and the only real need being offensive line depth, Sean Harlow to the New England Patriots is the perfect crime. This is why in my last article, 2017 NFL Draft Power Profile: Sean Harlow, I predicted the New England Patriots would draft Harlow with their 6th Round pick (200 overall), and that still applies today.
Sean Harlow has the versatility, mental/physical toughness, leadership qualities, football IQ, and the NFL bloodline that will appeal to the Patriots on Day 3.
No Beaver fan would be upset seeing Sean Harlow create a pocket for Tom Brady, who will be throwing the ball down the field to Brandin Cooks. Go Beavs.