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New England Patriots

By Matt Dolloff, 985TheSportsHub.com

The Patriots may have found their replacement for Nate Solder at left tackle. And not necessarily with first-round pick Isaiah Wynn, but with the tackle they traded for – that would be Trent Brown.

Freshly acquired from the Niners along with the 143rd pick (which the Pats used to draft linebacker Ja’Whaun Bentley) for the Patriots’ third-round pick last weekend, Brown is certainly built like a top candidate for left tackle. The 6-foot-8 Brown primarily played right tackle in San Fran, but he wasn’t going to supplant All-Pro LT Joe Staley out there. In Foxboro, he’ll have an opportunity to seize the starting job on the left side.

“I’ve always played both sides,” Brown told reporters at Gillette Stadium on Thursday. “I started off playing college left. I played left in high school. I really started playing right when I got to the University of Florida. But, switching sides has never been a real big issue for me.”

October 2, 2016; Santa Clara, CA, USA; San Francisco 49ers offensive lineman Trent Brown (77) during the first quarter against the Dallas Cowboys at Levi's Stadium. The Cowboys defeated the 49ers 24-17. (Photo Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports)

October 2, 2016; Santa Clara, CA, USA; San Francisco 49ers offensive lineman Trent Brown (77) during the first quarter against the Dallas Cowboys at Levi’s Stadium. The Cowboys defeated the 49ers 24-17. (Photo Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports)

The real issue for Brown, as has been reported, could be his conditioning. Listed at 355 pounds on the Patriots’ website, Brown has been dogged by persistent reports that he’s had trouble in that department and has at times reported to the 49ers overweight. He faced more of the same questions in Foxboro on Thursday, but sounds confident and secure in his ability to get to a good weight and play well.

“I move well for a big guy,” Brown said. “I don’t know if you’ve seen.”

He also denied that he took offense to those who questioned his conditioning.

“No, I mean, if you watch the film, I don’t think it will show,” he said. “I still did my job at a high level.”

Oct 16, 2016, Orchard Park, NY, USA: San Francisco 49ers offensive tackle Trent Brown against the Buffalo Bills at New Era Field. Buffalo beat San Francisco 45-16. (Photo Credit: Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports)

Oct 16, 2016, Orchard Park, NY, USA: San Francisco 49ers offensive tackle Trent Brown against the Buffalo Bills at New Era Field. Buffalo beat San Francisco 45-16. (Photo Credit: Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports)

Ultimately, Brown’s size, versatility, and experience with different offensive schemes were the likely reasons that he became an attractive trade option for Bill Belichick and the Patriots. Brown described himself as a “chameleon” who has benefitted from playing in different offenses, which today has become simply a matter of learning new terminology.

If Brown’s description of himself as a player shows up on the field, the Pats offensive line could be in great shape.

“I’m an excellent pass protector and I get after it in the run game,” Brown said. “I don’t talk too much. You just have to see on Sundays.”

Hopefully, Brown’s promises come to fruition – especially in terms of protecting Tom Brady. The Patriots have loaded up on a number of warm bodies in their quest to find their next left tackle, and Brown certainly looks and sounds like the guy. It’ll be up to him to live up to that.

Matt Dolloff is a digital producer for 985TheSportsHub.com. Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Have a news tip, question, or comment for Matt? Follow him on Twitter @mattdolloff or email him at matthew.dolloff@bbgi.com.