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Patriots Daily: Atonio Mafi Enters the Center Conversation

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New England Patriots guard Atonio Mafi (68) stands on the sideline during an NFL football game against the New York Jets on Sunday Sept. 24, 2023, in New York. (AP Photo/Bryan Woolston)

In yesterday’s Patriots Daily, candidates to be the backup to David Andrews as the New England Patriots center were discussed. Among the candidates were Jake Andrews, Nick Leverett, Layden Robinson, and Charles Turner III. Soon after publication, another name emerged, as second-year offensive lineman Atonio Mafi was seen taking snaps at center at OTAs.

Mafi played two seasons on the defensive line for UCLA before switching to offense in 2020. In his final three seasons for the Bruins, Mafi only played guard aside from one snap at right tackle. He took no snaps at center. Mafi played guard exclusively as a rookie last season for New England.

Despite Cole Strange being expected to miss at least the start of the season for the Patriots, there will be fierce competition for interior offensive line spots on New England’s 53-man roster. Barring injuries, David Andrews will start at center and Sidy Sow is expected to start at one of the guard spots.  That leaves several candidates for the other starting guard spot (the prediction here is rookie Layden Robinson gets the nod) and the backup interior line positions on the 53-man roster.

David Andrews, Sidy Sow, and Layden Robinson are all roster locks (whether Robinson starts or not). That leaves Atonio Mafi, Jake Andrews, Nick Leverett, Charles Turner III, Ryan Johnson, and Tyrone Wheatley Jr. among those looking to solidify a spot. Versatility helps in staying power for a backup offensive lineman. Adding ‘center’ to his resume could help Mafi secure a return to the roster for his second season in New England. Stay tuned.

Also in today’s Patriots Daily:

Football Fun Fact of the Day

The NFL player with the most career games against the Patriots is former New York Jets kicker Pat Leahy (34).

Former Dolphins offensive lineman Bob Kuechenberg beat the Patriots the most times (18).

Former Bills teammates Brian Mormon and Kyle Williams lost to the Patriots the most times (21).

Post of the Day

Drake Maye continued his introduction to the Boston sports scene by watching the Boston Celtics in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Finals last night at TD Garden. Here he is meeting Jayson Tatum pregame:

New England Patriots News

New England Sophomore Keion White has Old-School Attitude

Patriots 90-Man Roster Spotlight: Jonathan Jones

Report: Cole Strange to Miss the Start of New England’s Season

Former Patriots DeVante Parker Retires From the NFL

JuJu Smith-Schuster is Healthy and Loving the Locker Room Vibes

NFL News

CBS Sports –Ranking the NFL’s offensive units

ESPN – Aaron Rodgers embraces pressure of do-or-die season with Jets

NBC Sports – Tyler Boyd touts potential Titans ‘deadly trio’ with DeAndre Hopkins, Calvin Ridley

NFL.com – Justin Fields says he’s ready to compete to be Steelers QB1

Yahoo! Sports –Tank Dell hauls in passes from Texans QB C.J. Stroud 3 weeks after being shot

Yardbarker – Bryce Young impresses Panthers teammates after rough rookie season

Boston Bruins

Go to our sibling site Boston Hockey Now to check out the great Boston Bruins coverage from Jimmy Murphy and the BHN team.

Today’s feature – Uncle Pat? Maroon would love to be a Bruins mentor

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