In this weeks’ update to FanSided’s 2014 NFL Mock Draft, Sayre Bedinger of nflmocks.com has the New England Patriots selecting defensive tackle Ra’Shede Hageman out of Minnesota.
“The Patriots will get back Vince Wilfork next year, but they still need to add some more up front. Ra’Shede Hageman has huge potential and could play more like a top 10 talent but falls in the draft because of some inconsistencies.”
I agree that the Pats need some depth behind Wilfork, but at the same time, the absence of Wilfork and Tommy Kelly may have provided New England with some in-house depth. Joe Vellano, Chris Jones, and Sealver Siliga all have stepped up and played relatively well in the middle. They should be able to back up the top guys very well next year (Wilfork, Kelly, maybe Sopoaga), which would allow the Patriots to use their first round draft pick on a position that is in more dire need of some reinforcements, like a tight end, or a defensive back.
I personally would not hate Bill Belichick selecting a defensive tackle in the first round, but I certainly would like to see him and the front office go in a different direction, specifically with tight end Rob Gronkowski’s availability for the 2014 season now in question.