If there is one thing that was apparent during all 3 preseason game’s it’s that the backup offensive lineman are questionable at best. Enter Trey Pipkins, who may be the most questionable of all. What do you do with a 3rd round draft pick who doesn’t even look like he should be in the NFL?
Typically entering your 3rd NFL season people tend to predict a breakout season. However, that is the farthest thing from the truth when it comes to Pipkins. Now most of the time teams will let a high draft pick stick around for the duration of his rookie contract even if he isn’t working out or fitting in. The Patriots are a team that is an exception to this. They will be quick to pull the trigger and release a player because they would rather put value over someone who could be a contributor, if need be, despite contract or draft position etc etc. Although I can see why most teams take the opposite approach. Let him stay on the roster and hope that he just wakes up one day and puts it all together and it finally clicks.
That is a nice thought theoretically and 90% of the time I would stand by the fact if drafted in the top 4 rounds he should stick around for at least 4 years. For me however, I don’t not see Pipkins ever putting it together. This week against Seattle he posted a 55.9 run blocking grade along with a 71.1 pass blocking grade and this might very well of been his best game probably ever. The week before against San Francisco he posted a 33.8 pass blocking grade paired with a 70.8 run blocking grade. Oh, and he gave up 4 pressures and a sack. The first week against the Rams….well you get the idea as I’m sure you have watched him play if you’re reading this.
So, what’s the solution? Well in my opinion I would have tried to pick up the best offensive tackle I could from another team after the freenzy of cuts at the deadline. One who doesn’t make a team that they could of claimed off of waivers. That obviously didn’t happen. If not that then maybe sign a veteran who has yet to sign with a team. This could turn out to make little to no difference at all. Yet it is in my opinion that Pipkins will not get better. This of course is not a unique take. He plays with terrible technique and stands straight up and down coming out of his stance. He is also the victim of the same simple shoulder dip move by defensive ends every game because of this. If an outside guy is brought in and doesn’t work out then the team is in the same position they are in now, making no difference. However, at least with a new face there is a chance.
If he is forced into game action this team cannot afford to suffer because Tom Telescoe wants his “project” to work out. So it makes me ponder if this is merely an ego thing or maybe strictly for optics. Of course he could also be factoring in the fact that cutting him creates 219,00 in dead cap money. this is a course of action that most certainly will happen if injury occurs and Pipkins is playing heavily. My guess is that Telesco is just waiting until he has too, but if some how all the other tackles stay healthy it will be a mere after thought….a stand by wait and see situation.