2012 NFL Draft: Prospect Countdown

The draft is around the corner, so we're going to start looking at the prospects that sit at the top of the heap, as well as those who might fit well with the Patriots.

Going through the roster, I feel comfortable saying that the Patriots won't be targeting the quarterback, tight end, tackle, or inside linebacker position, unless a top player drops to a fantastic value (see: Mallett, Ryan). That leaves the following positions:

Running back: The departure of BenJarvus Green-Ellis leaves three running backs on the roster. While the Patriots may be comfortable with those three, I don't think anyone would be surprised if they picked up another running back to round out the stable.

Fullback: There has been a lot of interest as the Patriots have signed Tony Fiammetta and Spencer Larsen. If the Patriots are looking to bolster the fullback position with a versatile player, they could spend a late round pick on one of the top players available.

Wide Receiver: The Patriots are clearly trying to rework the position and the draft is extremely deep with talent.

Interior Line: Questions surround Brian Waters and the future of the right guard position, while the team could definitely use an upgrade at center. Seeing how fluid the center and guards positions are for the Patriots, I'll group them together.

Defensive Line: The Patriots need a lot of work on the defensive line, as Vince Wilfork, Kyle Love, and Brandon Deaderick are the only returning contributors and Jonathan Fanene is a new signing.

Outside Linebacker: Rob Ninkovich has grown as a player, but he's the only known quantity. Jermaine Cunningham is a bubble player after regressing last season and Trevor Scott and Markell Carter have a lot to prove.

Cornerback: While the position looks promising if healthy, they cannot be expected to remain healthy. Drafting another corner, preferably a slot corner, would add depth and solidify the position.

Safety: Like outside linebacker, there is Pat Chung and a bunch of unknown quantities. There needs to be a lot more depth at this position.

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We'll look at the top five players at these positions, and give a quick blurb about the rest as we get closer to the draft. For now, post the names of whatever players you're interested in!

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