The New England Patriots‘ interior defensive line needs a boost in the 2022 draft, with at least one of the team’s middle-round picks devoted to the position. Though the team struck gold with a second-round trade-up in 2021 to draft star-in-the-making Christian Barmore, the rest of the interior defensive line needs an infusion of young talent.
For the purposes of this discussion, let’s leave edge players out of the equation and concentrate on the big guys up front.
While lots of attention has been placed on the offensive line, it’s important to also shed some light on how the team might improve its fortunes on the defensive interior in the draft.
Fortunately, there may well be solid options in the middle rounds that may fit the bill for the Patriots’ D-line to compete in the ever-improving AFC East and AFC in general.
Current Patriots interior defensive line projections
The current Patriots’ interior defensive line is peppered with veteran players. Last season, they took many of the snaps. This season, a couple of younger players like Barmore and late-season addition Daniel Ekuale will be taking many more if the team is to improve the defensive side of the ball.
Last offseason, the Patriots moved quickly in free agency and acquired Davon Godchaux as a free agent from their division rivals the Miami Dolphins. Godchaux received a two-year, $15M contract according to Spotrac. He was OK, but nothing to write home about and could be a candidate for cap savings if released.
Also included in the current group are steady but unspectacular Lawrence Guy, Henry Anderson, Dietrich Wise Jr., and also-rans Byron Cowart, Carl Davis, and Bill Murray. The Patriots need help and the draft’s middle rounds are where they should look for it.
The team has four middle-round picks at present: a third, a fourth, and two fifth-rounders. At least one should be allocated for an interior defensive lineman. These three potential draftees in the middle rounds could be nice additions to that defensive front.