As the 2019 NFL Draft draws near, Patriots.com looks at prospects at each position that might make sense for New England.
The Patriots signed veteran Mike Pennel to join Lawrence Guy on the inside but the team could use another body to add some depth after losing Malcom Brown and Danny Shelton from a year ago. Not a major need but a position Bill Belichick likes to have extra bodies to choose from.
1 – Christian Wilkins, Clemson: Just about the perfect prospect with combination of on-field production and leadership/personality. Wilkins will have a solid NFL career and be a mainstay on the inside for years.
2 – Dexter Lawrence, Clemson: Another former Tiger, Lawrence is massive at 350-plus pounds but he has light feet and a work ethic that allows him to make plays in the backfield. His PED suspension for the playoffs might scare some team away.
3 – Jerry Tillery, Notre Dame: Just a relentless worker on the inside with excellent technique. Tillery has the strength and toughness to step in and compete immediately. He played through a torn labrum last season that required surgery so he might not be ready to go until training camp.
4 – Zach Allen, Boston College: Allen played inside and out for the Eagles but doesn't really project as an edge guy in the NFL. His versatility and production would be attractive to the Patriots at some point on Day 2, assuming they don't want to use a first-rounder on a defensive tackle.
5 – Demarcus Christmas, Florida State: Moving a bit down the board, Christmas is an effective run-stuffer with active hands who isn't overly flashy but gets the job done.
OTHER NAMES TO KEEP AN EYE ON:
- Jeffery Simmons, Mississippi State
- Kingsley Keke, Texas A&M
- Daniel Wise, Kansas