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Patriots Roster Prediction #27: DL Mike Wright

Player Name: DL Mike Wright

Experience: 5 Seasons in the NFL, all with the New England Patriots

Past Role: Wright has been the ultimate defensive lineman for the Patriots, having stepped in at 3-4 DE and NT, as well as 4-3 DT at some point in time during his tenure. Last year was a semi-breakout year for Wright, who saw his play time increase with the departure of Richard Seymour. He had 5 sacks, 2 passes defended and started 9 games. He was a solid overall player, but was no more than average. He is a strong pass rusher, but struggles against the run. More of a one gap player, Wright isn't a prototypical 3-4 DE, but he has still managed to have some success.

Predicted Role: Due to the unfortunate injury to Ty Warren, Wright will most likely be asked to be a starter again. The addition of ILB Brandon Spikes should help limit the damage opposing running games will wreak against Wright, but look for Wright to have another solid pass rushing year. Although he's better fit to be used on only passing downs, Wright will have to stretch himself and be better at stopping the run. Wright will start at LDE, in place of Ty Warren, and will have a linebacker near him on obvious rushing downs.

Predicted Season Numbers: 14 Games Started, 16 Games Played, 40 tackles, 7 sacks, 2 passes defended, 2 forced fumbles

Predicted Depth Chart: #1 LDE

Summary: Wright is better fit as a 4-3 DT, or a 1 gap 3-4 DE, but he'll have to try and be a successful 2 gap 3-4 DE. He'll have another solid, but unspectacular year. He'll provide clear pressure on passing downs, something that was consistently missing last season, but don't be surprised if Wright gets subbed on running downs (1 Gap DEs need more support on running downs than 2 Gap DEs). He'll be a solid contributor, but he won't be the answer for the position.