2012 NFL Draft: New England Patriots Wait For Playoffs To Determine Pick

The New England Patriots will wait for its playoff run to conclude before learning where its draft picks land.

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2012 NFL Draft News: New England Patriots Linked To Mark Barron

With the New England Patriots headed to the Super Bowl to take on the New York Giants, the NFL Draft probably isn't weighing heavily on the minds of many fans.

However, the Patriots do have some issues, especially on defense. New England ranked 31st in pass defense over the course of the regular season. A safety is needed along with some pass rushers. Granted, Andre Carter and Mark Anderson have shown the ability to knock down the quarterback. With that said, an outside linebacker would help the scheme-versatile Patriots and a secondary that can be exposed.

One mock draft has New England looking at an Alabama man. Safety Mark Barron would make a ton of scene if Bill Belichick and co. decided not to address the defensive front. Barron is a ball-hawk and can hit with the best of them. He's also learned defense under Nick Saban, who runs perhaps the most complex defense in college football.

Barron is a winner who could really bring a spark to the Pats lackluster secondary. He would make a very solid pick for the AFC champions come April.

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NFL Draft 2012: First Look At New England Patriots

The 2012 NFL Draft order has been decided for the teams that will miss the postseason. The Patriots are in the playoffs, so their exact spot is not official yet, but that doesn't mean we can start speculating about the direction in which the Pats will go in the first round of the draft.

The SB Nation mothership published its first 2012 NFL Mock Draft on Monday, and the Patriots pick up a couple of pieces at the end of the first round. Take a look:

30. New England Patriots (from New Orleans), Jerel Worthy, DT, Michigan State

You can almost guarantee that this pick, and probably the next one, will be traded before the shooting stops on the first night of the draft. For the sake of mocking, let's put Worthy here because he gives the Pats a much needed shot of youth along their defensive line.

31. New England Patriots, Brandon Jenkins, OLB, Florida State

Andre Carter is currently the Patriots' best pass rusher. He's 32 and stuck on the injured reserve list. They need to add another player who can get the quarterback. Jenkins puts his head down and plays football, a trait Bill Belichick loves.

Keep up with our 2012 NFL Draft StoryStream for the latest news and rumors on the New England Patriots and the NFL Draft.

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2012 NFL Draft Combine: UMass' Emil Igwenagu Receives Invite

Sports Illustrated's Tony Pauline reports that UMass' Emil Igwenagu has received an invite to the 2012 NFL Draft combine that will be held in February.

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