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2014 NFL Draft: 5 Names New England Patriots Fans Need To Know

2014 NFL Draft: 5 Names New England Patriots Fans Need To Know

2014 NFL Draft: New England Patriots
Winslow Townson - USA TODAY Sports

The 2014 NFL Draft is right around the corner and the New England Patriots are eyeing several prospects. Whether it is defense or offense, here are five names you need to know to prepare for the NFL Draft.

5. Ra’Shede Hageman, DT, Minnesota

Ra’Shede Hageman: New England Patriots
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5. Ra’Shede Hageman, DT, Minnesota

Ra’Shede Hageman: New England Patriots
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With contract and health issues surrounding Vince Wilfork, the Patriots could look to add depth on the defensive line. Hageman is the perfect plan to succeed Wilfork as he has great size, athleticism and playmaking ability. He is a solid run stopper and can press into the backfield. He would be a substantial upgrade over Joe Vellano and Chris Jones.

4. Troy Niklas, TE, Notre Dame

Troy Niklas: New England Patriots
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4. Troy Niklas, TE, Notre Dame

Troy Niklas: New England Patriots
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The injury history of Rob Gronkowski and the incarceration of Aaron Hernandez leaves the Patriots thin at TE. Niklas would be the immediate No. 2, as would any TE they draft, but he would add a much-needed run blocking presence and is a threat around the end zone given his size and ability to catch the football.

3. Marqise Lee, WR, USC

Marqise Lee: New England Patriots
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3. Marqise Lee, WR, USC

Marqise Lee: New England Patriots
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Hampered by a knee injury in college, the Patriots spent quite a bit of time watching Lee at the combine. He would immediately challenge Aaron Dobson and Brandon LaFell, and the Patriots never shy away from drafting skill players with injury concerns. Lee would be the dynamic playmaker the team hasn’t had in a few years.

2. Jace Amaro, TE, Texas Tech

Jace Amaro: New England Patriots
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2. Jace Amaro, TE, Texas Tech

Jace Amaro: New England Patriots
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Another tight end for a team dependent on the position for offensive production and Amaro has the ability to quickly fill the void left by Hernandez and give new life to the Patriots vaunted two-tight-end offense. He is a big, productive and consistent receiving tight end with the ability to make big plays after the catch.

1. Eric Ebron, TE, North Carolina

Eric Ebron: New England Patriots
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1. Eric Ebron, TE, North Carolina

Eric Ebron: New England Patriots
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Ebron might be the most polished of the tight ends in the 2014 Draft, providing a quality mix of run blocking and pass catching ability. He is an offensive weapon who has great quickness, run-after-catch skills and world be a mismatch for most defenses against man coverage. The only question is can the Patriots handle is outsized personality?