New England Patriots 2013 Draft Preview

A lot of NFL personnel people think they are the smartest guy in the room. Few are ... especially when Bill Belichick enters.

The Patriots coach and general manager is generally two or three steps ahead of his competition and nothing magnifies that more than draft day.

Belichick and the Pats' brain trust set up their draft day in free agency and this season New England attempted to remake its wide receivers corps, brought in veteran safety Adrian Wilson and added former Raiders defensive tackle Tommy Kelly to an already impressive front seven.

If wide receiver Danny Amendola can stay healthy, he'll be a more than adequate replacement for the departed Wes Welker in the slot. The real lynchpin to the Pats' moves at wide receiver, though, was Emmanuel Sanders, a restricted free agent from Pittsburgh who signed a one-year offer sheet. The Steelers matched the offer, however, so getting a real vertical threat is still needed,

The Patriots could also use some depth on the interior of the offensive line and at cornerback and safety.

New England, which has the 29th overall pick in the first round, has shown strong interest in Mississippi State cornerback Johnathan Banks as well as Boise State corner Jamar Taylor. Meanwhile, if Tennessee wide receiver Cordarrelle Patterson continues to fall, he could be an option.

2012 Record: 12-4

Top Needs: CB, OG, S

First Three Picks: No. 29, No. 59, No. 91

Number of Selections: 5 (1, 2, 3, 7, 7)

RECENT FIRST ROUND HISTORY: 2012 - Chandler Jones (DE, Syracuse), Don't'a Hightower (LB, Alabama); 2011 - Nate Solder (OT, Colorado); 2010 - Devin McCourty (CB, Rutgers); 2009 - none; 2008 - Jerod Mayo (LB, Tennessee); 2007 - Brandon Meriweather (S, Miami-Florida); 2006 - Laurence Maroney (RB, Minnesota); 2005 - Logan Mankins (G, Fresno State); 2004 - Vince Wilfork (DT, Miami-Florida), Benjamin Watson (TE, Georgia); 2003 - Ty Warren (DT, Texas A&M).