As the NFL marches onward towards the draft, I have recently been collecting a group of players that I think the Patriots should take a look at. I have recently been talking about skill positions, such as running backs and wide receivers. However, if you have ever seen the Patriots draft, it is highly unlikely that they will use one of their top picks on one of those skill positions. A more likely scenario, and honestly a team need, is to improve the offensive and defensive lines.
With a sizable cap hit next season, the Patriots will look to extend Vince Wilfork and lower that number. However, if last season is any indication of how successful they will be, then it does not look good. Wilfork was coming off a torn achilles season and was still fighting to be paid. Many thought that he would not even return for the 2014 season with the Patriots. After coming off a very good season, it looks highly unlikely that Wilfork will be willing to take another significant pay cut. Because of this, it is time to look at pieces to replace him on the defensive line. It is not a forgone conclusion that he will be wearing another uniform next year, but it is important to expect the worst.
Carl Davis, who Kiper has already predicted to be taken #32 overall by the New England Patriots, is a physical specimen. Standing at 6'5 and weighing 320 pounds, Davis would be a very good replacement for Wilfork. As you can see by the picture, Davis looks extremely athletic. Posting a 40 yard dash of 5.07 seconds, he has the unique combination of strength and quickness that many defensive linemen lack. Davis is extremely quick on his feet and has excellent hand placement for a big guy. To put it simply, this guy will clog the middle and just can't be moved easily.
However, Davis does have some weaknesses. He often plays smaller than he actually is and tends to not use his powerful legs as much as he should. He stands too upright and uses his upper body to shed blockers.
Although Davis only had decent numbers at Iowa, (42 tackles, 4 TFO, and 1.5 sacks in his Senior season ) it is important to know that he was the anchor of the Iowa defense and, like Vince Wilfork, offered much more to the team than just stats. Most are predicting Davis to be drafted in the late first/early second round. If the Pats want him, he will definitely be there with their first round pick.
By Pete Packowski @Pete_BBS