The New England Patriots dominated the regular season, but came up short in the Super Bowl losing 41-33 to the Eagles. New England showed that they still have a few chinks in their armor and need to patch up some of those chinks. The Patriots have the 31st pick in the NFL draft and have some holes that need to be filled. Here are four players the Patriots should avoid in the first round of the 2018 NFL Draft:
4.) Leighton Vander Esch, LB, Boise State
A concern for the Patriots entering the season is their depth at the linebacker position after the injury to Donta' Hightower. The Patriots got everything they could out of Kyle Van Noy and Elandon Roberts 2018 is a talented draft class at the linebacker position, but selecting Leighton Vander Esch in the first round would be a bit of a stretch. He had a great year in 2017 with 141 tackles, 8.5 tackles for a loss, four sacks, four passes broken up and three interceptions.
3.) Malik Jefferson, LB, Texas Longhorns
Another linebacker the Patriots should avoid is Malik Jefferson. Jefferson has the tools to be a solid linebacker against both the run and in coverage, but at the 10th overall pick is a bit of a reach. Jefferson led the Longhorns in tackles, tackles for loss, and sacks, but the Big 12 is far from the NFL.
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2.) Orlando Brown, OT, Oklahoma
New England's offensive line is in question with Nate Solder being a free agent. Brown is a big boy, standing 6-foot-8 and weighing 360 pounds. Despite Brown's size, he struggles with speedy edge rushers. If the Patriots make him their left tackle it could be a rough start to Brown's career.
1.) Luke Falk, QB, Washington State
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Falk might be one of the most accurate quarterbacks in this draft, however, he doesn't have a ton of arm strength and his upside is limited. Why should the Patriots cap their upside when looking for a new quarterback to possibly replace current quarterbackTom Brady who is 40 years-old. Brady isn't getting any younger but drafting Falk isn't the answer in the first round.