Report: Full health and high hopes for Patriots' second-year offensive lineman

Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports

By Alex Barth, 985TheSportsHub.com

The Patriots have been known to 'redshirt' rookies via IR in the past, and the 2019 class has a number of candidates for second year standouts.

Perhaps the most crucial is fourth-round pick Hjalte Froholdt, a guard out of Arkansas. Froholdt missed all of 2019 after suffering a shoulder injury in the Patriots preseason finale against the Giants.

According to NESN's Doug Kyed, the 23-year-old is ready to begin the 2020 offseason program without any lingering issues from that injury.

Feb 28, 2019; Indianapolis, IN: Arkansas offensive lineman Hjalte Froholdt speaks to media during the 2019 NFL Combine at Indianapolis Convention Center. (Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports)
Feb 28, 2019; Indianapolis, IN: Arkansas offensive lineman Hjalte Froholdt speaks to media during the 2019 NFL Combine at Indianapolis Convention Center. (Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports)

Froholdt could play a crucial role in the Patriots planning this offseason. Starting guard Joe Thuney is expected to reset the market for the position in free agency, likely putting him out of the Patriots price range. Ted Karras, who filled in for David Andrews as the starting center last season, is also expected to leave for a starting job elsewhere. Andrews' status also remains up in the air after he missed 2019 due to a blood clot in his lung.

With those major shakeups expected, the Patriots could end up leaning heavily on Froholdt, who played both guard and center in college. That versatility could make Froholdt, along with 2019 third-round pick and fellow redshirt IR member Yodny Cajuste, cost-controlled assets as the Patriots look to restock the offensive line in the post-Dante Scarnecchia era.

Alex Barth is a writer and 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. Thoughts? Comments? Questions? Hate mail? Let him hear it on Twitter @RealAlexBarth or via email at [email protected].