2012 NFL Draft: Reviewing the New England Patriots

The Patriots are one of those annoying teams that are just run really well. As an organization, they just seem solid all around. Maybe this is all a mirage. Maybe if you put Tom Brady on any team, they all of a sudden appear to "draft well." I have no doubt that he makes everybody around him look darn good. This is a team that went to the Super Bowl with an incredibly weak defense.

That said, I think the Patriots wisely noticed this problem. After signing every wide receiver available in Free Agency (seriously - don't even look that up; it's true) they decided to draft every single defensive player possible - plus one wide receiver. So, even if this draft only halfway works out, I think it's pretty safe to say that the Patriots outlook for the next couple of years is pretty favorable.

So how did the Patriots decide to fix their defense? Well let's take a look by position group. Starting with DE Chandler Jones from Syracuse in the first round, the Patriots beefed up their d-line with a guy who has a lot of potential to be a consistent force on defense. He is joined by DE Jake Bequette from Arkansas, picked in the third round

Move up a level to the LBs, and we only have one pick: first rounder LB Dont'a Hightower from Alabama. I really like this pick, as I think Hightower can be the type of guy that instantly upgrades a LB corp. He has some slight health concerns, though.

Finally, the Patriots used the majority of their picks on the secondary, which may have been their greatest defensive need. Second round pick FS Tavon Wilson from Illinois is joined by DB Nate Ebner from Ohio State (though he looks to be more of a special teams guy) and CB Alfonzo Dennard from Nebraska, an absolute steal in the seventh round, as he was a guy I would have been happy about the Niners taking in the second round (or third).

Finally, WR Jeremy Ebert from Northwestern rounds out the draft. He was a seventh round choice.

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