With the 2014 NFL draft right around the corner, the Patriots prepare to make a big splash and pick up some draft picks that will help them put the finishing pieces to build a championship-caliber team. Over the last month, a heavy buzz around the Patriots organization has continued to grow about potential rumors of trading 2011 pick, Ryan Mallet for a plethora of high-round picks. In order for New England to fill some of their biggest needs, here is a list of potential prospects whom the Patriots should look into and consider:
1. Jace Amaro, TE, Texas Tech
Amaro is a very strong, smart athlete and has incredible skills and speed that are among his standout qualities. Listed at (6-foot-4 1/2, 255 pounds), Amaro has the physicality, size and speed that the Patriots have truly lacked with the inconsistency Gronkowski has shown with his lingering injury issues over the past 3 seasons. Amaro is similar to Hernandez, he is an H-Tight end and his position sometimes gets confused with a receiver because he has a receiver assets. During the 2013 season, Amaro totaled seven touchdowns and 106 receptions.
2. Jadeveon Clowney, DE, South Carolina
Clowney (6-foot-4 1/2, 260 pounds) did not play well this season, but he is an outstanding athlete with speed and has great talent.
3. Anthony Barr, LB, UCLA
Barr (6-foot-4, 242 pounds) a linebacker wit a promising young career at UCLA was a former running back in the past. He has accumulated 23.5 sacks over two seasons and can rush the passer effectively. He is a versatile player whose quickness and agility can aid him in breaking through the line and rushing the passer and break tackles at running back. You're really getting a two for one deal.
4. Jake Matthews, OT, Texas A&M
Matthews (6-foot-5, 310 pounds) stayed in school for a fourth year to learn more about playing and understanding the left tackle position. With the way the Seattle Seahawks attacked Peyton Manning and Drew Brees last year, teams all around the football world have been going heavy with defense and getting after the passer. With Tom Brady approaching the end of his golden yeas, Matthews is the type of big, physical presence the Patriots need to protect their future hall-of-fame. Matthews versatile skills and size is also a benefit because he can play the guard and tackle position on top of being an effective pass blocker.
5. Mackenzie Elliot, CB/KR, University of Rhode Island
Elliot is a two-time All-American and has been a highlight at Rhode Island since his freshman year. He has accumulated over 2,000 all-purpose yards and is known for his special teams versatility. He has totaled over 15 interceptions during his time at URI and has returned several punts and kickoffs for touchdowns. He is the versatile, physical and hard working type of player that Belichick loves to have. Elliot has rushed the passer and created pressure when blitzing and accumulated over 20 fumbles in his Rhode Island career and remains a top prospect the team should consider. Elliot also has returned 3 kicks for touchdowns and his special teams skills is something Belichick truly loves in any young player.