After biting the dust in the AFC Championship Game, the New England Patriots are officially in rebuilding mode.
One way the team will have a chance to bolster its roster is through this April's NFL draft.
From this writer's view point, these are the Patriots' biggest needs this offseason (not necessarily in this order):
Defensive Back: Whether it's a safety or a corner largely depends on the fate of in-house free-agent Aqib Talib and whether the team views Devin McCourty as a safety or a corner going forward. Either way, the Pats need depth here at a minimum.
Defensive Tackle: Vince Wilfork can't do it all by himself, and Kyle Love and Brandon Deaderick will never be top-tier defensive tackles.
Wide Receiver: Brandon Lloyd is the only true wide receiver under contract in 2013. Even if Wes Welker and/or Julian Edelman return, the Pats could still use an injection of youth and explosiveness at wide receiver.
While the Patriots don't always draft for need over value, these three positions seem to be deep in this year's draft, so drafting for need and value could be one and the same.
Through a need-based and best-fit lens, here's a look at 10 draft prospects all of Patriot Nation should know about come draft day.