Michael Brockers: DT, LSU
For a team coming off a Super Bowl appearance, the Patriots have some significant holes, the most significant of which come on the defensive side of the ball. What was already a below average pass rush has been weakened further by the loss of OLB Mark Anderson, the Pats' co-leader in sacks last season. Andre Carter, who started at OLB across from Anderson, is coming off a season ending quad injury and is also currently unsigned. Rob Ninkovich is the only capable starter at the position left on the Pats' roster.
5-technique DE is the other big need in that defense. After releasing prototype 5-tech Ty Warren last summer, they were left with Brandon Deaderick, Jonathan Fanene, and Ron Brace, who are little more than JAGs. They're desperately in need of some talent and potential at the position.
The other holes can for the most part be solved with players currently on the roster. While the retirement of elite LT Matt Light was a blow, last year's 1st round pick Nate Solder should be ready to step into the starting role. The Pats' secondary was a mess, but they really just need to let top-40 picks Devin McCourty and Ras-I Dowling develop.
More after the jump...
Fortunately for the Pats, they have two 1sts with which to solve their two pressing needs. With several great OLB options like Whitney Mercilus, Nick Perry, and Andre Branch available, they can afford to hold off at that position and grab a serious talent that really shouldn't be available this late.
Michael Brockers may be raw, but he's everything you look for physically in a 5-technique DE. Guys at that position don't rely solely on mass, but rather on length. Tasked with lining up directly over the ever-evolving offensive tackle, the position has had to evolve to keep up. In order to go up against these mountains while controlling the gaps on either side, 5-techs need length more than girth. Measuring in at 6'6, with 35" arms, Brockers has a nearly prototypical build for the position. His lack of experience rushing the passer would also be masked at this position, at 5-techs are primarily run stoppers.
Bottom line - Brockers is about as good a 5-technique prospect as you could ask for, and finding him available at 27 is too much to pass up. Given a little time to develop, Brockers should be able to fill Ty Warren's shoes in Foxborough for a long time.
Next on the clock will be captain nodar with the Green Bay Packers.
Previous Picks: #1 Andrew Luck, #2 Robert Griffin III, #3 Morris Claiborne, #4 Trent Richardson, #5 Matt Kalil, #6Justin Blackmon, #7 Melvin Ingram, #8 Ryan Tannehill, #9 Michael Floyd, #10 Dre Kirkpatrick, #11 David DeCastro, #12Courtney Upshaw, #13 Luke Kuechly, #14 Fletcher Cox, #15 Quinton Coples, #16 Mark Barron, #17 Stephon Gilmore, #18 Riley Reiff, #19 Janoris Jenkins, #20 Nick Perry, #21 Kendall Wright, #22 Stephen Hill, #23 Cordy Glenn, #24 Dont'a Hightower, #25 Jonathan Martin, #26 Dontari Poe