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New England Patriots 7-Round NFL Mock Draft, Late-April Edition

New England Patriots' Seven-Round NFL Mock Draft, Late-April Edition

New England Patriots Mock Draft
Andrew Weber – USA TODAY Sports

The New England Patriots ended 2013 with a thud and will need to use the 2014 NFL Draft in an effort to improve the defense. They’ve already added Darrelle Revis and Brandon Browner at CB and WR Brandon LaFell in free agency to help Tom Brady, but holes still remain. The defensive line, tight end and offensive line need to be addressed. See how they will in this late-April edition of the New England Patriots' seven-round mock draft.

Round 1- Pick 29 – Ra’Shede Hageman, DT, Minnesota

New England Patriots Mock Draft
Jesse Johnson - USA TODAY Sports

Round 1- Pick 29 – Ra’Shede Hageman, DT, Minnesota

New England Patriots Mock Draft
Jesse Johnson - USA TODAY Sports

Assuming they do not trade away their first pick, which is a precarious assumption, the Patriots need to add some depth on the defensive line with the age and health issues of Vince Wilfork and Tommy Kelly. Hageman offers scheme-versatility and pass-rushing ability but comes with questions about attitude and performance. Under the right tutelage, Hageman is pure potential.

Round 2 – Pick 62 - Jace Amaro, TE, Texas Tech

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Round 2 – Pick 62 - Jace Amaro, TE, Texas Tech

New England Patriots Mock Draft
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Without a doubt, the Patriots will target a TE due to the incarceration of “he-who-shall-not-be-named” and because Rob Gronkowski is apparently made of glass. Amaro can replicate the incarcerated one's production in the “move” TE position, putting up huge numbers in 2013 operating primarily from the slot at Tech with 106 receptions, 1352 yards, seven touchdowns. He is the speed the team needs at TE.

Round 3 – Pick 93 - Marcus Martin, C, USC

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Round 3 – Pick 93 - Marcus Martin, C, USC

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The team needs some flexibility on the offensive line, and Martin is versatile enough to play guard or center. With the struggles of Ryan Wendell and the age of Logan Mankins, Martin has sound fundamentals, pass protection and run blocking skills and is a depth providing pick while thinking about the future.

Round 4 – Pick 130 - Christian Kirksey, LB, Iowa

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Round 4 – Pick 130 - Christian Kirksey, LB, Iowa

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Kirksey will help fill the void left by the departure of Dane Fletcher and brings leadership intangibles and special teams ability. He is a LB who is strong in the coverage game, a specialty that was lacking in the days of Brandon Spikes and Fletcher, and attacks the ball-carrier.

Round 4 – Pick 140 - Kelcy Quarles, DT, South Carolina

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Round 4 – Pick 140 - Kelcy Quarles, DT, South Carolina

New England Patriots Mock Draft
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The team once again addresses its defensive line needs in an effort to boost its non-existent pass rush. In addition to Hageman, Quarles provides pressure up the middle, attacks the gaps and bursts off the snap. With recent legal troubles, if Quarles falls to the 4th round, he would be an absolute steal for the Patriots and an instant contributor.

Round 6 – Pick 198 - Marion Grice, RB, Arizona State

New England Patriots Mock Draft
Matt Kartozian - USA TODAY Sports

Round 6 – Pick 198 - Marion Grice, RB, Arizona State

New England Patriots Mock Draft
Matt Kartozian - USA TODAY Sports

Grice is the opposite of Steven Ridley because when he fumbles it is shocking, and he could be Ridley’s replacement after the 2014 season. The Patriots have shown interest in Grice, who is quick and has pass-catching ability. He can fill the still glaring void left by Kevin Faulk as Shane Vereen doesn’t appear to be the answer.

Round 6 – Pick 206 - Russell Bodine, C, North Carolina

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Round 6 – Pick 206 - Russell Bodine, C, North Carolina

New England Patriots Mock Draft
Jeremy Brevard- USA TODAY Sports

With Dan Connolly becoming a free agent next season and offensive line struggles at points during the 2013 season, adding depth is never a bad idea. He is a little slow-of-foot but makes up for it with aggressive play and stout pass protection, which Tom Brady could use more of.

Round 7 – Pick 244 - Kenny Guiton, QB, Ohio State

New England Patriots Mock Draft
Andrew Weber – USA TODAY Sports

Round 7 – Pick 244 - Kenny Guiton, QB, Ohio State

New England Patriots Mock Draft
Andrew Weber – USA TODAY Sports

This is the habitual selection of a QB who will never start a game with the Patriots because I’m not sure Belichick has a Brady backup plan. Guiton is a versatile, talented QB who played for Urban Myer and Belichick loves Urban Meyer players. He will either compete for the backup role Ryan Mallett has failed to secure or become a Julian Edelman type project.