With the twenty-eigth pick in the 2013 NFL Draft the Denver Broncos select Desmond Trufant, CB, Washington.
Next we address the 29th pick in the draft - The New England Patriots are on the clock.
#29 New England Patriots. Needs - CB, S, WR. The Patriots were in contention for another Superbowl in 2012 thanks to the high level of play from Tom Brady and the offense, and their usual soft schedule courtesy of playing in the AFC East. Once again they came up short. The window is closing on this team, with players at many key positions well into their 30's. The time is now for New England.
The Patriots offense was the best in the NFL in 2012. Most importantly they were #1 in scoring, putting up an amazing 35 points per game. 4th in passing yards, 7th in rushing yards, and #1 overall in yards gained from scrimmage. Only three teams threw the ball more than the Pats in 2012, yet they allowed the immobile Tom Brady to be sacked only 27 times (6th), or once every 24 drop backs. For comparison, Sam Bradford was sacked every 16 drop backs.
The Patriots defense, while much maligned during the season, actually improved after the addition of CB Aqib Talib. His loss to a thigh injury in the AFC Championship game exposed the Pats secondary. The Pats were an opportunistic bunch on defense, recording the 2nd most takeaways in the NFL, with 41 on the season. They finished 9th vs. the run, and 9th in points allowed, giving up just under 21 per game. New England was middle of the pack when it came to sacking opposing QBs, finishing 15th with 37 sacks on the year. By far the biggest problem for the Pats D in 2012 was their pass defense. They finished as the 29th ranked defense against the pass, which is not going to win you very many Superbowls in this day and age.
So what areas do the Patriots address with their 1st round pick? Their WR corps is old. Lloyd will be 32, Branch 34, Stallworth 33, and Welker 32. The Pats seem to be the only team keeping Branch and Stallworth in the NFL, because no one else wants them. Welker looks to be headed for a big payday somewhere else. Their RT, Sebastian Vollmer is a free agent. Their best CB, Aqib Talib is also a free agent. DT Vince Wilfork, though still playing at a high level, will be 32 this year as well. So who do they take?
Picks so far:
#1 Kansas City Chiefs - Luke Joeckel, OT, Texas A&M
#2 Jacksonville Jaguars - Bjoern Warner, DE, FSU
#3 Oakland Raiders - Star Lotulelei, DT, Utah
#4 Philadelphia Eagles - Damontre Moore, DE, Texas A&M
#5 Detroit Lions - Dee Milliner, CB, Alabama
#6 Cleveland Browns - Jarvis Jones, LB, Georgia
#7 Arizona Cardinals - Geno Smith, QB, WVU
#8 Buffalo Bills - Mike Glennon, QB, NC St.
#9 New York Jets - Barkevious Mingo, DE/OLB, LSU
#10 Tennessee Titans - Johnathan Hankins, DT, Ohio St.
#11 San Diego Chargers - Eric Fisher, OT, CMU
#12 Miami Dolphins - Keenan Allen, WR, California
#13 Tampa Bay Buccaneers - Johnthan Banks, CB, Mississippi St.
#14 Carolina Panthers - Sheldon Richardson, DT, Missouri
#15 New Orleans Saints - John Jenkins, NT, Georgia
#16 St. Louis Rams - Chance Warmack, G, Alabama
#17 Pittsburgh Steelers - Manti Te'o, LB, Notre Dame
#18 Dallas Cowboys - Kenny Vaccaro, S, Texas
#19 New York Giants - Ezekiel Ansah, DE, BYU
#20 Chicago Bears - Lane Johnson, OT, Oklahoma
#21 Cincinnati Bengals - Kevin Minter, MLB, LSU
#22 St. Louis Rams - Cordarelle Patterson, WR, Tennessee
#23 Minnesota Vikings - Terrance Williams, WR,Baylor
#24 Indianapolis Colts - Dion Jordan, DE/OLB,Oregon
#25 Seattle Seahawks - Sam Montgomery, DE,LSU
#26 Green Bay Packers - Johnathan Cooper, G, UNC
#27 Houston Texans - DeAndre Hopkins, WR, Clemson
#28 Denver Broncos - Desmond Trufant, CB, Washington