Evan Habeeb-USA TODAY Sports
The Patriots have filled out the defensive tackle spot next to Vince Wilfork by adding Armond Armstead from the Canadian Football League and Tommy Kelly from the Oakland Raiders.
Between those additions and incumbents Kyle Love and Brandon Deaderick, someone should rise to the occasion and take the No. 1 gig in the 4-3.
Still, it wouldn't be a shock to see New England grab a interior D-lineman through the draft.
Assuming the touted names are off the board after the first three rounds, the Patriots could definitely find a high-effort man in the midst of things. That man could be Penn State's Jordan Hill.
The 6'1", 303-pound pass-rusher isn't big, nor is he very athletic.
But Hill has heart. He's got a high motor and knifes through the line with vigor. When he brings down quarterbacks, he does so like it's the last sack he'll ever notch.
Hill has overachieved despite not having the fastest legs or longest arms. He was forced to give up his redshirt as a freshman due to scarce depth and probably could have used that extra year of development. However, Hill still is growing into his own and a very experienced pass-rusher, having earned starts since his sophomore year.
Without the likes of Devon Still and Jared Odrick, Hill made 64 tackles, 4.5 sacks, one forced fumble, one pass deflection and even one pick during his final year with the Nittany Lions. He can do a little bit of everything, despite being out-muscled by some stronger guards and centers.
His combine numbers don't jump out at you. He ran a 5.23 40-yard dash, leaped 22.5 inches in the vertical and benched 28 reps of 225 pounds. The moral of the story is some guys look a lot better on the field than in a physical testing venue. That's Hill.
If the Patriots were to acquire Hill, it'd probably be with a mid-to-late Day 3 draft choice. He wouldn't be a starter right away and perhaps never will be, but he's a nice situational pocket-pusher who plays with an inspiring level of intensity. Those types of players are few and far between.
With former Patriots offensive coordinator Bill O'Brien coaching at Penn State, there's reason to believe Belichick's staff has learned the inside scoop on No. 47.