Patriots’ Biggest Remaining Draft Needs And Players Who Can Fill Them

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The New England Patriots checked off their biggest needs on defense and offense Friday when they selected defensive end Derek Rivers and offensive tackle Antonio Garcia.

The Patriots have three selections left in the 2017 NFL Draft at No. 131, No. 183 and No. 239 overall, though they could pick up additional selections by trading down. The Patriots also will fill out their 90-man roster after the draft by signing rookie free agents. The Patriots currently have just 67 players on their roster, so they can cast a wide net on undrafted free agents.

Here are the biggest needs the Patriots still must fill with their remaining selections and undrafted free agents.

TIGHT END
The Patriots have Rob Gronkowski and Dwayne Allen at No. 1 and 2 on the depth chart at this position, but they could use an upgrade over Rob Housler, Matt Lengel and Michael Williams.

Here are players the Patriots could draft and one undrafted free agent possibility.

No. 131: George Kittle, Iowa
No. 183: Jeremy Sprinkle, Arkansas
No. 239: Billy Brown, Shepherd
UDFA: Keith Towbridge, Louisville

SAFETY
The Patriots are all set at free safety with Devin McCourty and Duron Harmon, but they could use another strong safety to compete with Jordan Richards for a role on the team. Patrick Chung seemed to take a slight step back in 2016, so the Patriots might eventually need a player who can man the box with the versatility to play in the slot and cover tight ends.

Here are players the Patriots could draft and one undrafted free agent possibility.

No. 131: Desmond King, Iowa
No. 183: Xavier Woods, Louisiana Tech
No. 239: Chuck Clark, Virginia Tech
UDFA: Jason Thompson, Utah

CORNERBACK
The Patriots have a strong top three at this position with Stephon Gilmore, Malcolm Butler and Eric Rowe. Jonathan Jones likely will make the roster thanks to his special teams prowess, but Cyrus Jones and Justin Coleman could use some competition.

Here are players the Patriots could draft and one undrafted free agent possibility.

No. 131: Howard Wilson, Houston
No. 183: Brian Allen, Utah
No. 239: Sojourn Shelton, Wisconsin
UDFA: Xavier Coleman, Portland State

LINEBACKER
The Patriots are pretty deep at linebacker with Dont’a Hightower, Shea McClellin, Elandon Roberts, Kyle Van Noy and Jonathan Freeny, but it couldn’t hurt to draft a player who can help on special teams with the potential to eventually take on a starting role.

Here are players the Patriots could draft and one undrafted free agent possibility.

No. 131: Vince Biegel, Wisconsin
No. 183: Samson Ebukam, Eastern Washington
No. 239: Eric Wilson, Cincinnati
UDFA: Harvey Langi, BYU

PASS RUSHER
Yes, the Patriots already grabbed Rivers with the 83rd pick, but they could use another player to compete with Geneo Grissom for a role on the team.

Here are players the Patriots could draft and one undrafted free agent possibility.

No. 131: Deatrich Wise, Arkansas
No. 183: Hunter Dimick, Utah
No. 239: Avery Moss, Youngstown State
UDFA: Ifeadi Odenigbo, Northwestern

Thumbnail photo via Brian Spurlock/USA TODAY Sports Images

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