It is hard to find holes on perhaps the most successful NFL franchise of this century, but the Patriots have clearly been looking for secondary help for quite some time. New England has drafted a defensive back or safety in the first three rounds in each of the last six drafts. Are they looking to do that for a seventh straight year?
Rob Rang of CBS Sports thinks so in his latest mock draft, tabbing Florida safety Matt Elam for the Patriots in the first round:
The recent addition of lanky cornerback Aqib Talib has improved the Patriots' pass defense but this secondary continues to give up big plays. The physical, ball-hawking Elam has the all-around game to help improve this unit as a rookie.
New England finished 29th in total pass defense in 2012 and gave up 27 touchdown passes. This didn't stop them from going 12-4 and securing the second seed in the AFC playoffs, but it is still an area of concern for the Patriots. Bill Belichick drafted safety Tavon Wilson in the third round of the 2012 draft and he started five games, recording four interceptions and six passes defensed.
NFL Draft Scout ranks the 5'10 Elam as the top strong safety in this years draft.