2012 NFL Draft: 5 Defensive Stars New England Patriots Can't Ignore

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2012 NFL Draft: 5 Defensive Stars New England Patriots Can't Ignore
Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

After losing in the Super Bowl to the New York Giants, the New England Patriots will look to build off of a solid 2011-12 campaign by fixing their defense in the 2012 NFL Draft.

Both the Giants and Patriots showcased talented offenses, but it was New England's less than stellar defense which was the difference maker. The Giants were able to force a safety, an interception and two sacks. On the other hand, the Patriots got three sacks but were unable to force any turnovers (despite two Giants fumbles).

Defense was an issue for the Patriots the entire season. They gave up the second most passing yards per game and had a hard time consistently getting pressure on quarterbacks. 

This offseason, New England must address their defense in free agency and the draft. Fortunately, the Patriots will have two opportunities in the first round (with the 27th and 31st picks) to find difference makers for their defense.

This slideshow will highlight the players the Patriots should target with their first round picks.

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