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Top 10 NFL Draft Prospects Who Fill New England Patriots' Biggest Need

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Top 10 NFL Draft Prospects Who Fill New England Patriots' Biggest Need
Ann Heisenfelt/Associated Press
Ra'Shede Hageman could be a first-round possibility for the Pats.

When approaching the NFL draft, the New England Patriots under Bill Belichick have always adhered to the "value over need" philosophy. That approach does not always fulfill the team's most immediate concerns, but as evidenced by a certain ex-fourth-string quarterback, it has paid dividends.

However, that does not mean the Patriots are not conscious of the most gaping holes on their roster. In recent seasons, we've seen New England double-down at positions of need—wide receiver in 2013, running back in 2011 and tight end in 2010, to name a few instances.

This year, it looks like defensive line might be the next position to receive an infusion of youth. With the Vince Wilfork situation in limbo, defensive tackle Tommy Kelly coming off a major knee injury and no reliable depth behind starting defensive ends Chandler Jones and Rob Ninkovich, there are multiple roles and positions that need to be addressed.

For the purposes of this list, note that this is a Patriots-specific viewpoint on which defensive line prospects in this year's draft would be the best fits in Foxboro. That means both a combination of skills and value must be considered. 

New England's first-round pick checks in at No. 29, so Jadeveon Clowney and Khalil Mack will not be on this list. Likewise, there are a few mid-round prospects who could provide excellent value while the Pats address other needs first.

With that in mind, here are 10 defensive line prospects Pats followers should keep an eye on this draft season.

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