Caedan Wallace could become an NFL starter before his first round teammate

Penn State right tackle, Caedan Wallace, was selected by the New England Patriots in the third round of the 2024 NFL draft, joining his two first-round teammates in the AFC East.
Penn State offensive lineman Caedan Wallace (73)
Penn State offensive lineman Caedan Wallace (73) / Dan Rainville / USA TODAY NETWORK

The Penn State Nittany Lions have multiple Day 2 prospects in the 2024 NFL Draft, but right tackle Caedan Wallace was the first to be selected, going in the third round at No. 68 overall to the New England Patriots. Wallace joins Penn State’s first-rounders, Olu Fashanu and Chop Robinson in the AFC East. 

Fashanu, his counterpart on the Penn State offensive line, was taken No. 11 overall by the New York Jets and Robinson went 21st overall to the Miami Dolphins. Robinson will likely face both of his former teammates in the trenches twice a year. 

Wallace, despite being drafted two round later, could have a much clearer path to the field on the Patriots than Fashanu. Fashanu is stuck behind Tyron Smith, a future Hall-of-Fame left tackle, and Morgan Moses in New York. Wallace, on the other hand, is only behind Chuks Okorafor and Michael Onwenu in New England. 

Onwenu is likely solidified as the Patriots’s right tackle of the future after four seasons with the team, but Okorafor is a recent free-agent addition after he was benched in Pittsburgh. Okorafor could begin the season at left tackle, but in Pittsburgh, he was moved from the left to the right side by a fourth-round rookie, Dan Moore Jr. two years ago, and was sent to the bench in favor of first-round selection Broderick Jones last year. 

New England needs to build up the offense around quarterback Drake Maye, who they selected third overall on Thursday night, and Wallace will be a very important piece of that puzzle.

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