In selecting Arkansas defensive end/outside linebacker Jake Bequette with their third-round pick (90th overall), the Patriots pick up another pass-rushing prospect.
At 6-foot-4 5/8 and 274 pounds, Bequette looks like an edge player in the Patriots' defense, which could be a 4-3 end or a 3-4 outside linebacker. That's the same spot where first-round draft choice Chandler Jones projects.
One trait that likely appealed to the Patriots with Bequette is his quickness. His 20-yard shuttle was a solid 4.07, which was second fastest among defensive linemen at the combine, and his three-cone drill (6.9) was third. He is also a disruptive player who has created turnovers.
Bequette is a two-time team captain whose presence could threaten Jermaine Cunningham's place on the roster, and will also increase the competition for 2011 sixth-round draft choice Markell Carter and free-agent signee Trevor Scott. The Patriots had Andre Carter and Mark Anderson at that spot in 2011, and now they could have a much younger look in 2012.
The club has picked four players at this point -- all on defense. One could make the case that Bill Belichick has come into the draft with a plan to inject the defense, in particular the front seven, with an infusion of youth and athleticism.