- Field Yates, ESPN Insider
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April has arrived and the draft is fast approaching. With the dust largely settling on free agency, team needs have come further into focus and mock drafts will be a popular exercise over the next 23 days.
CBSSports.com has a panel of six experts unveiling periodic mock draft updates, the latest of which came on Monday.
Five of their experts went defensive for the Patriots at 29, with both Rob Rang and Dane Brugler slotting Washington cornerback Desmond Trufant, while Pat Kirwan, Pete Prisco and Will Brinson project the Patriots to look for defensive line help. Kirwan tabs Purdue defensive tackle Kawann Short, Prisco goes with Texas A&M defensive end Damontre Moore and Brinson takes North Carolina defensive tackle Sylvester Williams.
Clark Judge is the lone expert to project an offensive player to the Patriots, with receiver Robert Woods out of USC as the choice.
The feeling here is that wide receiver and cornerback are the Patriots clear-cut top needs, with receiver slightly above cornerback because the team retained both Aqib Talib and Kyle Arrington. More specifically, the team needs to find a receiver capable of playing on the perimeter in a split-end alignment. Veteran Michael Jenkins, signed recently, adds some depth, but does not project to be a featured receiver based on his most recent film.
Defensive line depth is also a consideration, as the team has shown interest in veteran pass rushers in free agency and also could use a big-body to play alongside Vince Wilfork.
To see the entirety of each expert's mock draft, CLICK HERE.