Although the Patriots defense remains a strong unit, they could use some upgrades at the LB position.
The Patriots are absolutely weakest on the offensive side of the ball. That said, if New England decides to not draft a QB, draft a WR or draft a TE, LB is the defensive position that could use the most help.
The Patriots have started to address the position in recent drafts, and have some great young players that have bright futures in the league. Ja’Whuan Bentley, Chase Winovich, Afernee Jennings and Josh Uche have all shown flashes of brilliance. They also have made a lot of rookie mistakes, and all have a lot of room to grow before Bill Belichick can rely on them for every snap.
Dont’a Hightower’s return could be a big boost for the linebacker unit, but the Patriots need some immediate help at the position. On that note, let’s check out some players that New England can pick up at their No. 15 slot.
Micah Parsons – Penn State
This is as complete a prospect as they come at the LB position.
Micah Parsons is one of the best athletes in the college game. He’s an absolute enforcer with size and speed.
As a run stopper, he is one of the NCAA’s best, and can use his speed to beat any runner to the corner. He can also use that speed to get to the quarterback lightning quick.
Parsons just holds pure football instincts, and his explosiveness and tackling will make him a great linebacker in the NFL for many years.
The one area he could probably improve is his ball production and pass breakup skills.
The Patriots LBs had difficulty stopping the run this year, and Parsons would be a great answer to that problem. This guy is a rare prospect that a guy like Belichick would covet if he was potentially available.