New England Patriots: Top 5 NFL Draft picks of the 2010s

New England Patriots (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images)
New England Patriots (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images) /
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Shaq Mason, New England Patriots
Shaq Mason, New England Patriots (Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images) /

5. 2015 NFL Draft Round 4, Pick 131: Shaq Mason, IOL

The Patriots were able to find multiple impact players in the fourth round of the 2015 NFL Draft. With their first of three selections in the round, the Patriots took defensive end Trey Flowers, who eventually made a massive impact on their team. Their next selection of Tre’ Jackson never worked out but taking interior offensive lineman Shaq Mason late in the round worked out in a big way.

The decision for the fifth spot on this list actually came down to Flowers and Mason. Both players have been incredibly impressive through their careers and have both undoubtedly played above expectations as a fourth-round selection. However, Mason was able to make an impact extremely early in his NFL career, while Flowers hardly played at all as a rookie and was a part-time player in his second season. This longevity gives Mason the slight edge.

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Mason is a dominating run blocker who is also a solid pass protector on the interior. Mason has been the primary starter at right guard for the Patriots over the last five years, including on two Super Bowl-winning teams.

Simply put, Mason is one of the best offensive guards in the entire NFL and will undoubtedly be an extremely important part of their new offense without Brady. Not too bad for a guy who was not taken until the fourth round.