Alter High School graduate Joe Thuney played every position on the offensive line during his career at North Carolina State. His new team, the New England Patriots, haven’t told him where they want him to play, but he’ll take an open mind with him when he reports to Foxborough, Mass.
“I think I see myself as a guard or center,” Thuney told Boston media on a conference call Friday night. “If it gets to a pinch, I can move out to tackle, but it’s really where the coach wants me to play.”
The Patriots drafted the 6-foot-5, 304-poundThuney with the 15th pick of the third round. He was the 78th pick overall. They selected his N.C. State teammate, quarterback Jacoby Brissett in the third round as well, 14 picks after Thuney.
Thuney was the first offensive lineman from the ACC drafted in 2016. He’s the first N.C. State offensive lineman drafted since 2005.
Thuney will have to earn a spot on the line, but if he plays, he’ll do so behind four-time Super Bowl champion quarterback Tom Brady and for a franchise that has won at least 10 games 13 seasons in a row. Thuney played for two state championship teams at Alter. The Wolfpack were 25-26 in his four seasons.
“The Patriots are a tremendous organization, one of the best in the NFL,” Thuney said. “I couldn’t be prouder to be drafted by them. All I can do is go out there and work my hardest and see what happens.”
Thuney graduated from N.C. State before his junior season in 2014 and has spent the last year and a half working on a degree in international studies and a minor in Spanish.
“You can’t play football for 40 years,” he said. “You have to have a life after teh NFL. I’d love to be able to travel and work at the same time and see new parts of the world.”