Every time Will Sherman’s phone rang on Saturday, there was a jolt of energy.
“My phone has been ringing a couple times and it’s not been the call I wanted,” the former Colorado offensive lineman said after Saturday’s final rounds of the NFL Draft. “But, it was awesome to get the call that my name is getting taken and I was getting off the board.”
Sherman achieved a long-time dream when the New England Patriots selected him with the 13th pick in the sixth round (197th overall).
“I waited a long time (during the draft), but I couldn’t be happier to get the call when I did from the team I did,” Sherman said. “I’m super excited about this opportunity.”
Surrounded by a few family and friends at a home in North Carolina, Sherman is the latest in a long line of CU offensive linemen to be drafted and he goes to a team that has made a habit of turning late-round picks into starters or stars.
Last year, offensive linemen Michael Onwenu from Michigan and Justin Herron from Wake Forest were sixth round picks by the Patriots. Onwenu started all 16 games and earned all-rookie team honors, while Herron started six games. Ted Karras, a sixth-round pick from Illinois in 2016, has been a part-time starter with the Patriots.
“Even in the past couple of drafts, they’ve had guys in the sixth round who have started all year and started a handful of games,” Sherman said. “The plan for me is to definitely do the same and be able to see the field after I get some great coaching. I’m fired up. It’s such a great organization and I’m very blessed and thankful that they picked me.”
At CU, the 6-foot-3, 310-pound Sherman started at left tackle in 2018 and 2020 and right tackle in 2019. He has spent the offseason practicing at guard and center, believing that he would likely move to one of those spots in the NFL.
“He has played both left and right tackle and also has some experience at guard,” Patriots head coach Bill Belichick said during a virtual press conference on Saturday. “We’ll see how that goes. Certainly has some versatility. Maybe also suited to play guard.”
Sherman, who got the draft day call from a scout and Belichick, said it was more than versatility that attracted the Patriots.
“They like the way I play the game – physical – and my IQ,” he said. “I’m really excited and thankful that they gave me the opportunity. I can’t wait to get to work.”
During a conference call with Patriots media, Sherman said he had a “good amount” of pre-draft communication with New England and that got him excited about joining the team.
“I was definitely hoping that this was the organization that would pick me, just with the given history and the great coaching that’s available,” he said.
Sherman will now become a teammate of Patriots left tackle Isaiah Wynn, who Sherman has studied in recent years. Like Sherman, Wynn is an undersized tackle (6-2, 310), but has found success.
“Just trying to watch him play left tackle, mirror his feet, his technique, his hands and all that stuff,” Sherman said. “So it’s crazy to actually get drafted by the Patriots now, just because he was definitely a guy who I used to watch in college a lot.”
Sherman will become the latest former Buff playing offensive line in the NFL, including several current players: Nate Solder (New York Giants), David Bakhtiari (Green Bay Packers), Arlington Hambright (Chicago Bears) and Daniel Munyer (Tennessee Titans).
When the call from the Patriots finally came in, Sherman said “there was a lot of screaming” among the family in North Carolina, as Sherman took the first step in achieving his dream.
At some point in the next few days, he’ll take a final exam and complete a project to put the finishing touches on his degree from CU. Then, he’ll start his new job.
“It’s really just the beginning, but it’s a checkmark that’s been checked off,” he said. “I’m blessed and excited and I just wait to get out to Foxborough.”