Pats could fill hole at DE spot in first round

Posted Feb. 04, 2011 @ 1:32 p.m.
Posted By Kevin Fishbain

Even before Ty Warren landed on injured reserve, there were some questions about who would start opposite him in the Patriots' 3-4 defense. With Warren out, the Patriots went through seven different starters at defensive end this season. That included NT Vince Wilfork, who got eight starts on the end, seventh-round rookie Brandon Deaderick and former UFL player Eric Moore. The lack of a pass rush in the playoff loss to the Jets magnified the team's need for a defensive end who can get after the quarterback. First-round picks on defense have been kind to the Patriots, with their last three (Devin McCourty, Jerod Mayo and Brandon Meriweather) all being Pro Bowlers. The last three first-round picks they have used on defensive linemen also worked out well — Wilfork in 2004, Ty Warren in ’03 and Richard Seymour in ’01. With two picks in the first round of a DE-heavy draft, the Patriots could look to continue their success of using their first pick on a defensive lineman.