Post-Draft Review: New England Patriots

The Patriots were able to address various needs from both sides of the ball with their 12 selections in April's NFL Draft. However, a few more needs remain.

Pre-Draft Needs: WR, TE, OLB
 

Players Added

Round 1-Devin McCourty/CB - Cornerback wasn't a position of need, but McCourty's versatility probably became an attraction for New England. They now are really deep at the position.


Round 2-Rob Gronkowski/TE - Had he not had a low medical grade (back), Gronkowski probably would have been a first-round pick. He's easily one of the best tight end prospects available for the draft in the past few seasons.


Round 2-Jermaine Cunningham/LB - He should be able to make the successful transition from playing standing up at the collegiate level. Cunningham has a legitimate shot to start as a rookie.


Round 2-Brandon Spikes/LB - While he's known as a two-down linebacker, Spikes should be able to challenge for a starting job this season against ILB Gary Guyton.


Round 3-Taylor Price/WR - New England really needed to add one or two talented receivers in this draft. They added one with Price, who should have a chance to get into the top 4-5 of the rotation at this position.


Round 4-Aaron Hernandez/TE - Had he not had an off-the-field issue, Hernandez would have been selected in the second round. He'll give New England badly needed athleticism at this position.


Round 5-Zoltan Mesko/P - Mesko was the best available punter for this year's draft. He'll compete for the starting job against fellow undrafted free agent David King.


Round 6-Ted Larsen/C - Starting C Dan Koppen's contract expires after the 2011 season, so Larsen could have a chance to start down the line. This season, he'll compete for a job as Koppen's backup.


Round 7-Thomas Welch/OT - Welch could help his cause to make the final roster coming out of the preseason because he can play right or left tackle.


Round 7-Brandon Deaderick/DE - New England could probably have used one more developmental defensive end, so Deaderick fills that bill.


Round 7-Kade Weston/DL - The developmental defensive lineman figures to land a spot on New England's practice squad this season.


Round 7-Zac Robinson/QB - Robinson will compete for the No. 3 quarterback role this season.


Post-Draft Needs

Wide Receiver - Despite adding Price, New England probably needs to add one more developmental receiver. That position was a major weakness last season.
 

Outside Linebacker - The Patriots have no proven pass rushers left on their roster, so they probably need to add at least one to two more of them.

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