With free agency coming to a halt, the Patriots still have holes to fill before the season starts. OLB, TE, DE, ILB, WR, RB, CB are all areas that could use some youth and/or depth.
With the draft a little more than a week away, the Patriots have some options in this deep draft. With 12 total picks this year they should be able to fill some holes and add youth to their aging roster.
The breakdown of the picks: 22nd, 44th, 47th, 53rd, 119th, 190th, 205th, 229th, 231st, 247th, 248th, 250th. With four picks in the top 120 they need to go after talent but should try to fill one of the areas of need. With their two sixth round picks and five picks in round seven they should look to draft for depth and find players of value and as we all know they are good at getting the most out of their late round picks.
The Patriots will have three players that should be available that will fill the need for OLB. Brandon Graham is the highest rated OLB and will most likely be off the board by the time the Patriots pick at #22. Players ranked on overall scale.
Sergio Kindle, Texas: #20
Sean Witherspoon, Missouri: #25
Jerry Hughes, TCU: #29
Round Two, Pick 44: Target DE
With the loss of Richard Seymour in a trade before last season and Jarvis Green heading to Denver, the Patriots are seriously lacking depth at this position. If they are able to sign Derrick Burgess to a deal before the draft they can afford to come back to this position later in the draft.
Carlos Dunlap, Florida: #41
Tyson Alualu, California: #44
Alex Carrington, Arkansas State: #61
Corey Wooton, Northwestern: #68
While Carrington and Wooton are not slotted to go near the 44th pick the Patriots could take them with a reach for trade down and grab a later round pick.
With Benjamin Watson and Chris Baker both leaving via free agency, the Patriots have a glaring hole at TE. If the Patriots look to address this position early in the draft there are two prospects that should be available after Jermaine Gresham.
Rob Gronkowski, Arizona: #46
Jimmy Graham, Miami: #50
With the re-signing of Leigh Bodden the CB position doesn't need immediate help, but there are a few intersting prospects that should be available with the Patriots last pick in the second round.
Akwasi Owusu-Ansah, IUP: #69
Brandon Ghee, Wake Forest: #49
Chris Cook, Virginia: #47
The running back position has been in limbo since the departure of Corey Dillon. While the Patriots don't need depth at this position, some youth would help the cause as Taylor, Morris, and Faulk are all well into their 30's.
Laurence Maroney, barring a career year, will most likely not be back with the team next year and that would leave BenJarvus Green-Ellis and the lone running back under 30 years-old next season. This may be a little high for the Patriots to take a running back since it isn't an immediate need, but there are some interesting prospects.
James Starks, Buffalo: #146
Anthony Dixon, Mississippi State: #102
Joe McKnight, USC: #120