Patriots pre-draft needs: WR, DE, DT, LB, S
First Round, Pick 21: Chandler Jones, DE, Syracuse
Jones has the frame to be a beast in the NFL, even if the framework is a little bare at this point. He'll need to spend a couple of years cutting his teeth in the NFL, but his upside is tremendous as a pass rusher and he even earned the "best pass rusher in the draft" stamp from both Mike Mayock and Michael Lombardi of NFL Network.
First Round, Pick 25: Dont'a Hightower, LB, Alabama
Versatile linebackers are extremely valuable for Bill Belichick, and while Hightower bears some resemblance to Brandon Spikes, he gives them quite a bit more versatility just in their personnel groupings and where they can line up. Should be a solid addition, and a day one starter.
Second Round, Pick 48: Tavon Wilson, S, Illinois
A lot earlier than expected, Wilson is a safety not a lot of people know about; this was a position of need for the Patriots, and while he could live up to his second round billing, that seems like a long way to come from where he was at Illinois.
Third Round, Pick 90: Jake Bequette, DE, Arkansas
If you had uttered the words "SEC pass rusher" to a Patriots fan before the draft, they might have begun foaming at the mouth. Bequette
Sixth Round, Pick 197: Nate Ebner, DB, Ohio State
After reading scouting reports and reviews on Ebner's play, toughness is the first word that comes to mind. He played rugby, and loves hitting people. He can contribute on special teams even if he can't find a spot on the defense at the beginning of his career.
Seventh Round, Pick 224: Alfonzo Dennard, CB, Nebraska
A player with a second or third round grade doesn't often fall to the seventh round, but when he does, you can almost guarantee Bill Belichick will be the one to draft him. If he can straighten up, he could be a No. 2 cornerback for the team. If he can't straighten up, the team only used a seventh round pick on him.
Seventh Round, Pick 235: Jeremy Ebert, WR, Northwestern
Ebert is a Welker-Edelman clone. With that said, is there enough room for him to get on the field? Even if not, it was only a seventh-round pick, but the team could have perhaps targeted a taller, or more vertical wide receiver.
Overall Draft Grade: A