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Needs: WR, OL, DE, OLB, CB
Previous Record: 14-2
The Patriots are perhaps the best team in the NFL at manipulating the draft. They consistently move up and down, gaining more picks and getting versatile players that fit their system. It's like clockwork under Bill Belichick. This year though, the Patriots have eight picks in the first four rounds, so perhaps they'll stay put for once.
Statistically, the Patriots had a bad defense in terms of yardage. However, the Patriots committed an astoundingly low 10 turnovers as a team, and forced 38, ranking best in the league. What's that mean? The offense is so efficient that the defense is put on the field more often than they'd like, and teams rack up meaningless yardage against them. Still, the Patriots were dreadful at getting pressure on the QB. Because of Belichick's schematic genius, this team can manufacture pressure, but when Mike Wright leads your team with 5.5 sacks you need an upgrade. To that end, I think the Patriots will draft hybrid OLB/DE Ryan Kerrigan from Purdue.
Kerrigan is a surprising athlete who has a nonstop motor. He's faster than most people think, and is able to get off the line extremely quickly. This translates well when moving from a 4-3 DE to a 3-4 OLB. I think he'll quickly become the best pass-rusher the Patriots have.