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News Blitz 4/25: Patriots in "sweet spot" to trade out of first round?
Mike Reiss of ESPNBoston.com writes that the Patriots could be in the "sweet spot" with pick No. 29 in the first round to trade out for more draft choices. The feeling from Dan Pompei of Bleacher Report is that quarterback-needy teams will ignore the top players at the position early in the first round and try to jump back in as the quarterbacks fall.
"This will be Bill Belichick's 15th draft with the Patriots, and he's always been open for business to deal if a willing trade partner comes forward, and they might not be hard to find in 2014," adds Reiss. READ MORE>>
"Connolly's contract will expire after the 2014 season unless the Patriots sign him to an extension beforehand," writes Frenz. "Marcus Martin (center, USC) and David Yankey (guard, Stanford) are good early-round options, and Russell Bodine (UNC) and Gabe Ikard (center, Oklahoma) are names to bear in mind from rounds four through seven." READ MORE>>
Jeff Howe of the Boston Herald predicts that Missouri DE Kony Ealy would be in line for around six sacks next season if the Patriots are able to select him late in the first round of this year's draft.
"The Patriots need a quality pass rusher off the bench to back up Chandler Jones and Rob Ninkovich, who each played at least 95 percent of the total defensive snaps last season, which led the league as an extraordinarily high number for a starting tandem," adds Howe. READ MORE>>
"Duron Harmon had a nice first season as a seventh-rounder but he shouldn't be viewed as the no-contest incumbent with Steve Gregory gone," writes Curran. "Tavon Wilson hasn't developed well either and the signs of slippage from returning safety Patrick Chung began in 2012. Bucannon is a second-day prospect that could fit the bill for the Patriots, especially with that special teams value." READ MORE>>
Doug Kyed of NESN.com believes addressing the running back position is a huge priority for the Patriots.
"The Patriots essentially lost their starting running back in free agency when LeGarrette Blount signed with the Pittsburgh Steelers," writes Kyed. "I think Stevan Ridley can start and regain what he had as a 1,200-yard back in 2012, but if he starts to fumble again, the Patriots need a workhorse back to play behind him." READ MORE>>