AFC East: Matt Elam

The New England Patriots are the final team to draft in the AFC East. New England holds the No. 29 overall pick in April’s NFL draft.

Who should the Patriots take this year near the end of the first round? New England will be looking for value picks and talented players who fell down the draft board.

SportsNation

Who should the Patriots take with the No. 29 overall pick?

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    28%
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    27%
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    23%
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    8%
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    14%

Discuss (Total votes: 4,673)

Is West Virginia receiver Tavon Austin a possibility? Austin is an explosive slot receiver in the mold of Percy Harvin. The Patriots are trying to re-sign free agent receiver Wes Welker. But Austin could add depth or be a potential replacement if Welker’s negotiations don’t go well.

California receiver Keenan Allen also could be available. Both Austin and Allen are rated behind Tennessee’s Cordarrelle Patterson and expected to go late in the first round.

New England also needs help in the secondary. The Patriots were 29th in pass defense last season. That could make players such as Florida safety Matt Elam and Mississippi State corner Johnthan Banks options at the end of the first round.

Using our SportsNation poll, vote on New England’s first-round pick. You can also share your thoughts in the comment section below.
Here are the most interesting stories Tuesday in the AFC East: Morning take: No surprise here. Byrd is Buffalo’s top free agent and time is running out before he hits the open market. The Bills need to know if they can re-sign him to a long-term contract or use the one-year franchise tag.
  • New York Jets head coach Rex Ryan has made it clear he wants No. 1 corner Darrelle Revis.
Morning take: Ryan and Revis have always had a good relationship, and the coach needs his best player more than ever. Ryan will enter 2013 on the hot seat and it will be tougher to win without Revis on defense.
Morning take: Smith is not a top-five corner, so it would be an unwise move for Miami. The Dolphins need corners but doesn’t need to spend more than $10 million on Smith.
  • Could the New England Patriots take Florida safety Matt Elam in the first round of the NFL draft?
Morning take: The University of Florida pipeline is strong in New England, and safety is a big need. Elam is an athletic enforcer who can make plays in the middle of the field.

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