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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.