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And finally, let’s take a look at what could be a growing issue for the team: defensive line depth.
For reference, here’s a reminder of where the Pats stand before the draft, in terms of picks:
1. Round 1, Pick 29
2. Round 2, Pick 27 (59 overall)
3. Round 3, Pick 29 (91 overall)
4. Round 7, Pick 20 (226 overall, from Buccaneers)
5. Round 7, Pick 29 (235 overall)
While New England got mostly solid production from rookie defensive end Chandler Jones last year and then added veteran defensive tackle Tommy Kelly in free agency, the Patriots could still look to bolster the defensive line. The signing of Kelly certainly added depth to a position where they were quite thin in 2012 beyond starters Kyle Love and Vince Wilfork, but Bill Belichick would do well to pounce if North Carolina DT Sylvester Williams is still available at number 29.
The same can be said of 25-year-old SMU end Margus Hunt, a tremendously athletic player at 6’8″ and former junior world champion in both the discus throw and the shot put, who could help improve the Pats’ pass rush. At DT, Johnathan Hankins of Ohio State and Kawann Short of Purdue might be reaches in the first round, but either may still be available at the end of the second.