The New England Patriots continued their 2012 NFL Draft with the third round Friday night. The team had traded away their third and fourth round picks Thursday night but after their first second round selection, they traded their second one to the Green Bay Packers for their third and fifth round picks.
With the 27th pick of the third round (90th overall) the Patriots selected Arkansas defensive end Jake Bequette. It’s the second defensive end the team has chosen in this draft after selecting Chandler Jones in the first round. This is the second surprise of the draft for the Patriots who were expected by many to take a defensive back in the first round and only one defensive end overall. Bequette is, like Jones, another pass rusher who accumulated 10 sacks for Arkansas in 2011. Along with a need to strengthen the defensive secondary, the pass rush was another issue the Patriots were expecting the use the draft to address.
Going into the draft, Patriots fans were hoping the team would primarily draft defensive players. As the team has the league’s best offense and second worst defense, expectations were that picking defensive players would most help the team improve. Through the first three rounds of the draft, the Patriots have drafted four players and all on defense.
Barring another trade by the team, the Patriots will wrap up their 2012 NFL Draft on Saturday during the fifth round. While some may question specific picks made by the team, it’s indisputable that the Patriots have gone after the positions of which the need was the greatest. Having drafted two defensive ends, a linebacker, and one defensive back, the team will likely select a second defensive back or a running back assuming they hold on to their their fifth round selection.