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2012 NFL Draft Grades: New England Gets Graded By Mel Kiper Jr.

Now that all the smoke has cleared from the 2012 NFL Draft, grades are being handed out by all the experts.

One of the best known and well respected is Mel Kiper Jr. of ESPN, who gives the New England Patriots a solid ' B-' for the efforts.

New England drew rave reviews for snagging who many feel could be the best defensive player in the draft, Chandler Jones. Coupled with Dont'a Hightower of Alabama and that's quite a first round.

Kiper felt the grade was brought down by the Patriots second round pick, Tavon Wilson. The Illinois star was a reach according to the draft guru.

Overall, New England did a nice job filling some serious needs on defense and adding some potentially quality depth. Bill Belichick actually traded up twice in the inaugural round, something he usually does the opposite of.

The more important grade will be the one given out at the end of the season, when time has passed and we all find out who the busts and sleepers were.

For more on the Patriots, please be sure to check out our blog Pats Pulpit and SB Nation Boston for all the latest news and updates.