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Replay: Best of Patriots Radio Fri Jun 09 - 03:30 PM | Mon Jun 12 - 10:55 AM

From the Hart: Remaining needs

The Patriots addressed major needs Thursday night by adding a pair of talented players to the defensive front seven in the form of Syracuse defensive end Chandler Jones and Alabama linebacker Dont'a Hightower.

First and foremost, Jones fills the wants and needs that Patriots fans have had for years on the edge of the defensive front. He can play both DE in the 4-3 and 3-4 OLB. He has impressive length and athleticism, heck in a conference call he said he models himself and has a similar style as Julius Peppers and Aldon Smith. Not too shabby of an expectation to set.

Hightower adds a versatile player who could play all the linebacker spots in both a 3-4 and 4-3. He comes from Nick Saban's defense as a heady leader. Not sure exactly where he'll play, and that will probably change from snap to snap and week to week, but Bill Belichick will love using Hightower.

So where does that leave the Patriots heading into the second round – with a pair of picks in the round? New England still would seem to have a major need in the defensive backfield at either safety or cornerback. If reports are accurate and Devin McCourty is moving to safety, then maybe a corner is in the works. If not, maybe a free safety type is the better option.

The team likely could also look to add a kick returner to the mix as well as the potential to grab a defensive tackle. A running back also wouldn't be out of the question, although the team could go the veteran route to fill that void in the committee given the free agent visits of Ryan Grant, Joseph Addai and Tim Hightower last week. And a developmental deep threat receiver wouldn't be a shocker.

Belichick seemed quite happy with the trades made to get Jones and Hightower and what they bring to the table, but also made it clear that the team wasn't done. He said there are still players on the board that New England likes, and he'll have the chance to get them at 48 and 62 overall in the second round on Friday. There is also the chance the team could look to deal some more to add picks, because given the trades made on Thursday and the limited picks the team had entering the draft, New England's last scheduled pick at this point is that 62nd selection.

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