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2014 NFL Draft Prospects Who Could Be Instant Starters for New England Patriots

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2014 NFL Draft Prospects Who Could Be Instant Starters for New England Patriots
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images
There's a decided Irish theme to this list.

Like most aspiring Super Bowl contenders, the Patriots do not have a ton of personnel holes.  Bill Belichick and co. have always emphasized depth in their roster construction, preferring to prioritize middle-class depth over collecting gaudy upper-class names.

However, that does not mean that there isn't room for rookies to come in and carve out vital roles.  Though the 2013 class started slowly, by season's end first-year players like Chris Jones, Jamie Collins and Logan Ryan were playing plenty of snaps.

Injuries did dictate some of that playing time, but as one of the NFL's youngest teams, the Patriots have recently placed a lot of trust in youthful contributors to complement their veteran core.  Consequently, breakout stars like Chandler Jones, Nate Solder and Devin McCourty have kept New England's championship window propped open in the twilight years of the Tom Brady era.

With better health, the 2014 Patriots might not have as much room for rookies as the injury-plagued 2013 rendition.  Nevertheless, here is an early look at seven draft prospects who could play meaningful snaps right away next season.

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