2014 NFL Draft: 5 Players New England Patriots Should Target With 29th Pick

New England Patriots: 5 2014 1st Round NFL Draft Targets

Bill Belichick Tom Brady New England Patriots
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With some aggressive moves in free agency this offseason, the New England Patriots are very obviously in "win now" mode. As long as the Pats have Tom Brady and Bill Belichick on their side, they certainly have a chance to make a Super Bowl run. That said, this team still has holes that need to be filled in the draft, and it all starts with their first pick. Check out five players who the Patriots must target with the 29th overall pick.

DE/OLB Kony Ealy

Kony Ealy NFL Draft
Mark Zerof-USA TODAY Sports

DE/OLB Kony Ealy

Kony Ealy Missouri
Mark Zerof-USA TODAY Sports

In the AFC Championship game against the Denver Broncos, the Patriots' pass rush was almost non-existent. Adding a pass rush specialist is a must in this draft, and besides Jadeveon Clowney, Kony Ealy is the best this class has to offer. Ealy has incredible athleticism and a perfect skill-set to become an elite pass rusher in the NFL. He has also shown the versatility to rush the passer both standing up and with his hand in the ground.

TE Jace Amaro

Jace Amaro NFL Draft
Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

TE Jace Amaro

Jace Amaro Texas Tech
Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

While I think adding to the defensive front seven is a more pressing need, if the Patriots believe they can find value there later in the draft, Jace Amaro is a great option. Amaro is a big and athletic tight end with great hands and receiving skills. He would give Brady another much needed target, and fit in perfectly with the Patriots who love to showcase the tight end position.

DL Stephon Tuitt

Stephon Tuitt NFL Draft
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

DL Stephon Tuitt

Stephon Tuitt Notre Dame
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The Patriots use a ton of different defensive formations, making versatility a key for them. Stephon Tuitt is certainly a player who fits that profile. Tuitt can play a DE spot in the Patriots' three man fronts, and would fit in well as a 3-technique in their four man fronts. Tuitt is an athletic player who was a key contributor all around in college at Notre Dame. He is an obvious fit, who could play a key role right away for the Patriots.

LB Kyle Van Noy

Kyle Van Noy NFL Draft
Russ Isabella-USA TODAY Sports

LB Kyle Van Noy

Kyle Van Noy NFL Draft
Russ Isabella-USA TODAY Sports

Kyle Van Noy is another versatile defensive prospect that would fit perfectly in New England. His pass rushing skills are good enough to line him up outside as a rush linebacker, and he is great against the run making him a possible MLB as well. His athleticism and skills as a LB are top notch. Van Noy is the kind of player who the Patriots target and will certainly receive some consideration from them at No. 29.

DT Louis Nix III

Louis Nix III NFL Draft
Matt Cashore-USA TODAY Sports

DT Louis Nix III

Louis Nix III Notre Dame
Matt Cashore-USA TODAY Sports

If Vince Wilfork is not back next season, the Patriots will have a massive hole in the middle of their defense. Louis Nix would be the best player in this draft to fill that spot. Nix is a massive man (6-foot-2, 331 pounds) with great strength and impressive athleticism. Even if Wilfork returns, the Patriots will find a way to get a high level talent like Nix on the field.


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