Patriots get Browns' Tyrone Wheatley Jr. for Pierre Strong Jr.

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- In a depth-based trade, the New England Patriots acquired offensive tackle Tyrone Wheatley Jr. from the Cleveland Browns in exchange for running back Pierre Strong Jr. on Sunday.

Wheatley, the son of former Michigan standout and NFL running back Tyrone Wheatley, potentially helps address arguably the Patriots' greatest need. Injuries and inconsistency on the offensive line have been a top storyline in training camp and the preseason, and Wheatley gives them a developmental prospect with size (6-foot-6, 320 pounds) and strength.

Cleveland had four players ahead of the 26-year-old Wheatley at offensive tackle, meaning he was unlikely to make the 53-man roster, with no guarantee he would clear waivers to return to the practice squad. Wheatley has yet to appear in a regular-season NFL game.

Later on Sunday night, New England also acquired offensive tackle Vederian Lowe from the Minnesota Vikings for a sixth-round pick.

The 6-foot-6, 320-pound Lowe is similar to Wheatley Jr. in the mold of a developmental prospect. The Patriots' willingness to trade a sixth-round pick for him reflects that they likely had a favorable scouting grade on him in the 2022 draft coming out of Illinois. While Lowe appeared in four games last season, he totaled just 33 snaps played on offense, all coming in the regular-season finale.

Meanwhile, the Browns have been in the market for a third running back behind Nick Chubb and Jerome Ford, and Strong potentially gives them a speedy complement to their depth chart. The Patriots had selected Strong in the fourth round of the 2022 draft out of South Dakota State. He played sparingly on offense last season, totaling 10 carries for 100 yards and a touchdown, and seven receptions for 42 yards.

The Browns released recently signed running back Justin Wilkins on Sunday, a day after he fumbled and had a handoff exchange issue with quarterback Deshaun Watson in the team's preseason finale against the Kansas City Chiefs.

The Patriots have Rhamondre Stevenson and Ezekiel Elliott atop their running back depth chart, and Strong was projected to serve in a backup role.

The trade is pending both players passing physicals and comes before all NFL teams must trim rosters to 53 players by Tuesday's 4 p.m. ET deadline.

Wheatley had been injured during a fight at Browns training camp on July 30, while Strong missed a week of training camp with a concussion.

ESPN's Jake Trotter & Kevin Seifert contributed to this story.