FOXBOROUGH — Joe Thuney is coming to New England.
The Patriots selected the North Carolina State offensive lineman with the 78th overall pick. It is the second pick the Patriots have made so far in 2016 and it adds depth to the offensive line immediately. Tackle is a position that the Patriots struggled with last season, especially once Nate Solder was lost to injury and the Patriots also had some instability at guard.
At 6-foot-5-inches and 304 pounds, Thuney brings the size necessary to play NFL tackle to the table, but his arms are a bit short, which he highlighted during his conference call. He has played center, guard and tackle while at NC State. He was a three year starter and was a second team All-ACC player in 2015. Thuney was also named a first team All-American by USA Today. He will not have to come in and start right away and could greatly benefit from a year to develop. He got better in each season at NC State and if his improvement continues to trend upward, he could be a solid NFL starter for New England.
At the combine, Thuney ran a 4.95 second 40 yard dash and did 28 reps on the bench press. He also checked in with a 110 inch broad jump and 4.54 second 20 yard shuttle time.
On the customary conference call with the media, Thuney expressed enthusiasm about coming to New England and noted that he was looking forward to competing for a job.
“That’s what I love to do. I love to compete. The Patriots are a tremendous organization. They are one of the best in the NFL and I couldn’t be prouder to be drafted by them. All I can do is just go in there and work my hardest and see what happens.”
Another interesting nugget about Thuney is his education history. He graduated with his Bachelor’s Degree in accounting in 2014, but stayed in school for the next two years. He has been working towards a degree in international studies with a minor in Spanish.
“The NFL, you can’t play in it for 40 years. You have to have a life after the NFL eventually and I’d love to be able to travel and work at the same time. I want to see different parts of the world and if you can combine work with travel it would be great.”