2014 Patriots Draft Needs and Prospect Profiles

Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

A look at the positions of need

Click each position title to find profiles for draft prospects.

1. Interior Linemen - All three of Logan Mankins, Ryan Wendell, and Dan Connolly have been maddeningly inconsistent the past few seasons. Tom Brady's weakness is pressure up the middle, so this grouping has to improve. Wendell remains on the market, while the pair of 32-year-old guards won't be around forever.

2. Tight End - The Patriots have no one behind Rob Gronkowski in a position vital to offensive success. Michael Hoomanawanui has signed back, but there's still no clear starting talent behind a recovering Gronk.

3. Defensive Tackle - Vince Wifork's asked for a release, but will likely be restructuring. Tommy Kelly should be around. Sealver Siliga deserves a starting shot, and there's a rotation amongst Chris Jones, Joe Vellano, and Armond Armstead. The Patriots can win with all of these players, but it's likely the team wants to acquire a play who can be the reason for winning.

4. Defensive End - Chandler Jones and Rob Ninkovich are some of the best in the league, but there's no depth behind them. There has to be more depth, just in case of injury.

5. Linebacker - With Brandon Spikes and Dane Fletcher signing away from New England, the Patriots are looking at Jerod Mayo, Dont'a Hightower, and Jamie Collins as the future. There needs to be more depth, pending the Patriots opinion on Steve Beauharnais. Don't be surprised by a pick on Day 3.

6. Safety - Devin McCourty is one of the best in the league, but there are a few question marks behind him. Duron Harmon adds value as a playable, versatile safety with upside, while Tavon Wilson is only a special teams player alongside Nate Ebner. The Patriots could use a dominant strong safety, but improving the defensive front should make the current talent shine.

7. Wide Receiver - There's potential in Aaron Dobson and Kenbrell Thompkins, and Josh Boyce is still young. Julian Edelman is extended, and he, Danny Amendola, and the newly signed Brandon LaFell round out a solid core. Still, the team could do with a dominant player on the outside to complement the strong interior.

8. Special Teams - Ryan Allen and Stephen Gostkowski should be around for a while, but Danny Aiken has been extremely questionable all season with his ball placement.

9. Running Back - If the Patriots want to transition away from Stevan Ridley, LeGarrette Blount, Brandon Bolden, and Shane Vereen, they could, but it's not a strong position of need. The position is extremely fungible; Blount could be back.

10. Quarterback - Tom Brady will play forever, but Ryan Mallett enters his final season. Is there any trade value? If so, the Pats could look to add depth at the position if they want to move Mallett.

11. Offensive Tackle - Nate Solder and Sebastian Vollmer are fantastic. Marcus Cannon is a solid swing tackle. Will Svitek is a free agent, who could be brought back. This position doesn't need much help at all.

12. Cornerback - Darrelle Revis and Brandon Browner join Alfonzo Dennard, Logan Ryan, and Kyle Arrington to round out an extremely strong position group.

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