A closer look at the areas the New England Patriots could address in the draft. Our second installment Tuesday takes a look at the defensive line, which is scheduled to work out Sunday in Indianapolis.
Position of need: Defensive tackle. Captain Vince Wilfork remains a rock in the middle and while he's still effective, he's also closer to the end of his career than the beginning. Sealver Siliga has been his understudy while veteran Alan Branch is a free agent, so perhaps the Patriots will take a closer look at some of the bigger-bodied defensive tackles in the draft.
Three players the Patriots could target in the draft:
Carl Davis (DT), Iowa: Listed at 6-foot-4 and 321 pounds, Davis was pinpointed by ESPN draft analyst Todd McShay as a possible fit for the team late in the first round. He performed well at the Senior Bowl and played under former Bill Belichick assistant Kirk Ferentz at Iowa, although media analysts are asking why his motor ran hot and cold during his college career. From a pure physical makeup standpoint, he appears to have some desirable traits.
Eddie Goldman (DT), Florida State: The 6-foot-4, 314-pound Goldman is one of the draft's more powerful players at the position, per analysts, as he has reportedly shown the ability to two-gap and hold his ground. That could be appealing to the Patriots based on how two-gapping remains part of their system. He's obviously played in a lot of big games at the highest level of competition in college, which also might have value to New England.
Marcus Hardison (DT), Arizona State: The 6-foot-3, 311-pound Hardison has played across the line of scrimmage and we know the Patriots generally like versatility. His production is notable in multiple spots although he's not currently mentioned in the top tier of tackles by media analysts. He apparently opened the eyes of some at the Senior Bowl.