NFL DRAFT

Bedard’s Breakdown: Drafting of Justin Herron fits in well with murky future plan on Patriots’ offensive line

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Previous draft pick breakdowns:

Bedard’s Breakdown: What Kyle Dugger’s Senior Bowl film tells us about his Patriots future
Bedard’s Breakdown: Putting Josh Uche’s impressive Senior Bowl in proper and needed context
Bedard’s Breakdown: Coaches will need to find right front seven fit for experienced Anfernee Jennings
Bedard’s Breakdown: 9 plays show why TE Devin Asiasi could be Patriots’ most impactful draft pick
Bedard’s Breakdown: Wouldn’t put Dalton Keene into TE box for Patriots – he might need a new one
Bedard’s Breakdown: Michael Onwenu will have to break the Patriots’ guard mold to stick around

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Well, we'll say this about the Patriots' future plans on the offensive line at tackle and guard: they've left themselves a lot of options.

In other words, there's no concrete plan.

Maybe that is a plan.

In that case, sixth-round pick Justin Herron out of Wake Forest fits in perfectly ... because his future could go in a lot of directions: guard, tackle ... out of the league.

Let's start with tackle for the Patriots.

In all likelihood, the hope is that Isaiah Wynn is the long-term answer at left tackle (only durability is really an issue; the talent is there), and Marcus Cannon is the starter for at least this season, unless a cheaper and better alternative emerges.

Right now, that's a complete unknown.

Yodny Cajuste, an injured 2019 third-round pick, could be a starter ... or just a backup. No one knows at this point.

Korey Cunningham was acquired from the Cardinals for a sixth-round pick last year and never contributed with 14 inactives, including the playoff game.

At guard, the Patriots could have the best — and most expensive — guard tandem in the league with Joe Thuney and Shaq Mason, if Thuney isn't traded at some point. Like Cannon, replacing Thuney would be predicated on knowing someone else can start. And the Patriots can't say that for certain at guard either.

Hjlate Froholdt, a fourth-round pick in 2019, had a terrible camp and mercifully was placed on injured reserve.

The Patriots traded a fourth-round pick to the Ravens for Jermaine Eluemunor, and he was inactive for the final four games, including the playoff game. He signed a $2.133 million tender this offseason

The Patriots drafted Michael Onwenu in the sixth round this year as another option.

And that's about it at guard and tackle for the Patriots entering this season. Four good starters, and not a lot of ready options beyond them.

In that regard, Herron is a perfect addition to the group: there's much unknown about him (including his NFL position). At the very least, he gives the Patriots more options.

In many ways, Herron reminds me of