Reiss' analysis of Patriots' draft

In the video above, ESPNBoston’s Mike Reiss discusses the Patriots' 2012 NFL draft haul, which saw them select six players on the defensive side of the ball.

In a column posted on ESPNBoston.com, Reiss writes:

The New England Patriots' defense is undergoing a transformation of sorts. Or perhaps better said, the way Bill Belichick views defense is shifting, and in turn, that has altered the value of certain prospects in the team's system.

In the past, more focus has been played on the base 3-4 defense. Belichick has almost always had a stout 3-4, with powerful hold-the-fort linemen in the 300-pound range whose primary job was to build a wall at the line of scrimmage. Bigger, physical linebackers played behind them.

It wasn't the fastest defense, but it had size, played physically and was fundamentally sound in its run fits and assignments.

This defense still exists; it's just that we're seeing less and less of it. And this is where Belichick has come around to a new way of thinking on what is needed in New England.

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