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NFL Mock Draft 2013: Is Matt Elam the next in line for Patriots' secondary reinforcements?

New England has a penchant for three things: a poor secondary, trading back in the draft and taking a DB. Elam would fill two of those roles at least.

Sam Greenwood

If one thing is for certain, it's that Bill Belichick prefers hoarding additional draft picks more than any other coach. In addition to that, the Patriots have spent several of their highest picks on defensive backs, but still New England's secondary struggled to stop the pass in 2012.

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Over the last several years, they have spent first round picks on players like Devin McCourty and Brandon Meriweather, and second round picks on Ras-I Dowling, Patrick Chung, Eugene Wilson, Tavon Wilson, and Darius Butler. Well, despite all of that, it looks like the Pats might be willing to draft another DB in April.

For Rob Rang of CBS Sports, he projects that player to be SS Matt Elam out of the University of Florida:

While the trade for cornerback Aqib Talib certainly improved the Patriots' pass defense, their inability to defend over the middle was again exposed in the AFC Championship game and Talib isn't locked up long-term. Physical and athletic, Elam could prove to be the enforcer in the deep patrol the Patriots hoped they'd be getting in Patrick Chung, who is scheduled for free agency and considered unlikely to return.

As Rang points out, they did also acquire Talib last season, but they could use a player of Elam's abilities. There is little question that New England will probably draft at least one DB in April, and one of those picks will probably be a safety. The only question is whether or not the Pats will even have a first round pick, or if they'll trade down a few extra times and keep hoarding.

They might be able to get Elam a few picks later.