11 free agents Patriots need to circle back to after the NFL Draft

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DE Emmanuel Ogbah

Keeping on track to improve the pass rush, the Patriots should look at Emmanuel Ogbah, whose versatility on the defensive line and his proven production make him a top available option to sign ahead of the 2024 season.

During his eight-year career in the NFL, Ogbah has lined up all over the defense. He has primarily played as a defensive end on both the right and left side, but he played nose tackle for the Dolphins in 2023 and had a more productive season than some in his past at his natural position.

He recorded 20 combined tackles, three tackles for a loss, nine quarterback hits, an interception, two passes defended, a forced fumble, and 5.5 sacks through 15 games. There's barely anything more he could have done to maximize his output on the year.

Pairing him with Matthew Judon could make for a lethal pairing. Ogbah could even sub in for Davon Godchaux if needed, making him even more valuable on the roster.

He's remained a consistent part of any defense he was working with, and his versatility, not only on defense but also on special teams, makes him an even more enticing option to sign ahead of training camp this summer.

LB/DE Carl Lawson

With the defense in mind, 28-year-old linebacker/defensive end Carl Lawson would be a solid signing to consider ahead of the 2024 season.

Although his career with the Jets was less than impressive, primarily due to being kept off the field in 2023 because of injury concerns, he's been a consistent contributor throughout his career. He spent his first four years with the Bengals, recording 81 combined tackles, 19 tackles for a loss, 83 quarterback hits, two forced fumbles, and 20 sacks.

Lawson put together a great 2022 season, most impressively with seven sacks and 24 quarterback hits, but because the Jets were overly cautious about previous injuries, he wasn't able to build upon that last year.

If there isn't more to the injury concerns, Lawson could be a great rotational piece on the Patriots' defense and another mentor to the young pass rushers.