It would be difficult for the New England Patriots’ pass rushers to have worse injury luck in 2018.
The Patriots had to sign defensive ends and linebackers off the street as the edge of their defensive line turned into a “Final Destination” movie in 2017.
Dont’a Hightower, Kyle Van Noy, Shea McClellin, Derek Rivers, Harvey Langi and Keionta Davis all either were lost for the season or spent a prolonged period on the injury report. It didn’t help that Cassius Marsh and Kony Ealy, both acquired in trades before the season, flamed out. All of this led the Patriots to add Eric Lee, James Harrison and even Jonathan Freeny to their roster.
Assuming they’re all healthy for the start of the 2018 season, the Patriots have plenty of bodies at pass rusher in Hightower, Van Noy, McClellin, Rivers, Langi, Davis, Lee, Trey Flowers, Geneo Grissom and Deatrich Wise. They could, however, afford to throw some more talent into the mix.
That’s why, despite the numbers and despite selecting Rivers and Wise last spring, pass rusher remains a top need for the Patriots in the 2018 NFL Draft. Here are the best players available.