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NFL Draft 2012: The New England Patriots Need A Wide Receiver

The New England Patriots are 13-3 and heading to the AFC Championship game against the Baltimore Ravens. They're the number one seed in the conference and look for all intents and purposes like the favorite to at least get to the Super Bowl if not win it. Yet, the Patriots have legitimate holes on both sides of the ball.

New England doesn't have a good outside wide receiver. Deion Branch is serviceable but hardly someone you would call prolific. Wes Welker is a great slot man that provides a security blanket when Tom Brady needs one.Rob Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez are quite possibly the best two tight end set of all-time.

However, all these weapons would be even more dangerous with a vertical threat to take the top off of defenses.

While elite play-makers such as Justin Blackmon of Oklahoma State and Michael Floyd of Notre Dame will be off the board by New England's selection, other options are still out there.

B.J Cunningham and A.J. Jenkins have looked really good at Shrine week according to Steve Muench and Kevin Weidl of ESPN. While neither is projected to be a first round pick they both are intriguing options, especially considering the Patriots love to trade back in the draft.

One name to keep in mind is Alshon Jeffery of South Carolina. The Gamecock is a projected late first round pick and is a big bodied (6' 4'', 232) speedster. Jeffery is the type of receiver who could really open up space underneath for the rest of Brady's bunch.