Now, with the Rams releasing Pisa Tinoisamoa today, he would shoot to the top of the list.
While Tinoisamoa is not a Ted Johnson-like run-stuffer who will play downhill and shed blocks, and might be a bit undersized for what the Patriots generally look for (6-1, 240) in their 3-4 defense, he is athletic and has been productive.
So if the Patriots were serious about adding a veteran at that spot after losing rookie Tyrone McKenzie to a season-ending knee injury, it would make sense that Tinoisamoa would be on their radar. He reminds me of a bit of Lions linebacker Ernie Sims, a player I believe the Patriots liked coming out of the draft a few years ago.
I checked an old article I wrote at my previous job, with the MetroWest Daily News and Milford Daily News, and the Patriots did have Tinoisamoa in for a pre-draft visit in 2003 (see third section of article ... and be kind to overlook my misspelling of Dan Koppen's name).