It’s been a quiet offseason for the New England Patriots thus far, but that’s poised to change in the next couple of weeks.
The Patriots own 12 picks in this year’s NFL draft, with the first coming in at the final selection of the first round. New England has quite a few holes to fill heading into the draft, and Peter King highlighted what he believes are its three most pressing needs in his latest Football Morning in America column for NBC Sports.
“New England: Best corner, edge player or receiver,” King wrote. “I’d take Greedy Williams, the corner from LSU. Serious top-10 prospect in October and nothing happened to knock him down other than the fact that so many other corners are close to him in ability. Pats can dip into deep wideout/tight end market at (Nos.) 56, 64 or 73 overall, or with a trade. The tight end who might fit well is Texas A&M’s Jace Sternberger — if the Patriots think he can block well enough in their scheme. He can stretch a defense.”
An edge rusher or pass-catcher certainly would make sense for the Patriots, but King’s suggestion for drafting a cornerback in the first round is a bit odd. The secondary arguably is New England’s strongest unit at present, and while additional depth never hurts, the Patriots always could address it in the later rounds. Then again, going with the best player available — regardless of position — in the first round often is the wisest move.
For what it’s worth, New England hasn’t drafted a defensive back in the first round since 2010 when it landed Devin McCourty. It’s safe to say that move worked out for Bill Belichick and Co, though.