BOSTON (CBS) – Each week night leading up to the 2015 NFL Draft, 98.5 The Sports Hub’s Adam Jones and Rich Keefe break down the biggest needs of the New England Patriots.
On Tuesday night, Jones and Keefe focused on interior defensive lineman prospects. Vince Wilfork has moved on from the Patriots and signed on with the Houston Texans in the offseason. Wilfork’s departure leaves Sealver Siliga, Alan Branch, Chris Jones and Dominique Easley as the only interior defensive linemen on the roster.READ MORE: 5-Month Old 'Fenway Baby' Becomes Crowd Favorite At Red Sox Game
Wilfork was a big asset for many years for the Patriots, playing a crucial role for the defense. Wilfork’s departure leaves the Patriots with a glaring need at this position, and they could use any round to draft an interior defensive lineman.
Jones and Keefe look at all the prospects and break them down into three groups:
Group 1: Off The Board – These players are the best of the best, prospects who the Patriots have no chance at picking 32nd overall.
Group 2: The Targets – These are the prospects who could be available for the Patriots.
Group 3: The Pick Is In – Jones and Keefe each reveal who they want to see the Patriots pick.
Off The Board
DT Leonard Williams – USC
Jones: This guy is going to come in and be a force against the run. Hopefully he’ll give you something up the gut on the interior in the pass rush.
Keefe: I think he should be the number one pick in the draft. This guy is an absolute beast. The best player of all the guys we’re going to get to. Unblockable is what they say about him.
DE Arik Armstead – Oregon
Jones: The younger brother of former Patriot Armond Armstead. Not exactly the most productive in terms of raw statistics but similar to what you heard about Dominique Easley. He ties up multiple blockers and is always in the backfield, other guys are making plays.
Keefe: Not as quick as he looks. Best suited as a 3-4 defensive end. He’s a versatile guy. You might be able to line him up in a couple of spots.
DT Danny Shelton – Washington
Jones: You read a lot about Haloti Ngata comparisons to him, which I don’t necessarily buy. I do think he’s a force against the run and a guy if you use him properly on the first couple of downs, could come in and plug up the middle of that defense.
Keefe: He might be the closest to Vince Wilfork in this entire draft. He’s the biggest guy on this list at 6-foot-2 and 343 pounds. Three year starter at Washington. He’s also an academic All-American so if you’re looking for a smart guy on the defensive line, he might be your pick.
DT Malcolm Brown – TexasREAD MORE: Man Charged With Child Porn After Allegedly Dressing Like A Woman, Taking Pictures In Wrentham Outlets Bathroom
Jones: A lot of mock drafts have Brown off the board by pick 32. As productive as he was standing at 6-foot-3 and 319 pounds, there are some questions about his motor. I think he could be there at the end of the first round.
Keefe: I think it’s going to come down to team needs and what other positions are slipping because the top three are pretty unanimous. If Malcolm Brown was going to sit there at 32, it shouldn’t shock you. He’s got a nice agility for a big man. At that size, you could plug him in on a couple of different spots on the defensive line. I also read somewhere, they say that he’s mature because he’s married and has two kids. He acts older than what he actually is.
DT Eddie Goldman – Florida State
Jones: This guy could immediately help against the run.
Keefe: Goldman was on that title team a couple of years ago. He played more defensive end than at defensive tackle for this past year. I think he can also play a couple of different spots and also has a lot of potential for him. The player that he was in college, he hasn’t maxed that out yet. We’ve seen a lot of Florida State guys translate pretty well to the NFL. He’d fit in pretty well with the Patriots.
Jordan Phillips – Oklahoma
Keefe: Phillips had back surgery and only played in four games as a sophomore. He’s only played a total of 16 games at Oklahoma. He’s inexperienced especially compared to some of the other guys on this list that were three years starters. You have to be concerned about the back. The high upside with Phillips though is he may be compared to Kansas City Chiefs defensive lineman Dontari Poe. If he lived up to that, that’d be pretty impressive especially if he fell down all the way to 32.
DL Carl Davis – Iowa
Keefe: A lot of the guys we’ve been talking about can line up as a 3-4 end or a 4-3 defensive tackle. Davis is probably more in the middle of the field. He’s going to be your nose tackle. Standing at 320, he’s more likely going to be your plugger.
DL Grady Jarrett – Clemson
Keefe: Jarett is the shortest on this list. He’s 6-foot-1. He has short arms as well. For a defensive lineman, you’d like to see a guy with long arms, batting passes down like JJ Watt. He was a high school state champion wrestler and a high school state shot putter. It shows you the overall athlete that Jarrett is. Also, even going back to high school, he has never missed a game and has proven to be durable.
DL Michael Bennett – Ohio State
Keefe: He’s more of your traditional pass rusher at 6-foot-2 and 293 pounds. With this list, we’ve already done true pass rushers. As far as guys that are sniffing 300 pounds, I think he’s that guy. He’s not going to blow up a double team or anything like that.
Marcus Hardison – Arizona State
Jones: Probably more in the mold of Dominique Easley a year ago. He’s not a space eater, but more of a penetrator. We know that Belichick is close with the Arizona State program and Todd Graham. Part of the reason the Patriots could target him. If not in the late first round, perhaps the second round or third.
Keefe: Hardison had 10 sacks a year ago. He was in a community college for a couple of years, so he hasn’t really played. Not much tape of him at the D-1 level. Ten sacks last year is a bit of an unknown for him.
The Pick Is In
To find out who Adam Jones and Rich Keefe desire most out of all the defensive lineman prospects, listen below!MORE NEWS: Boston To Remove Tents At 'Mass And Cass' Homeless Encampments; Public Health Crisis Declared