(AP Photo/Darron Cummings)
The Patriots have a Vince Wilfork-sized hole to fill at defensive tackle, and despite having Sealver Siliga, Alan Branch, and Dominique Easley likely back and healthy next year, the draft seems like the ideal solution for finding a solution. One player that could be available to the Patriots in the 2nd or 3rd round is Ohio State defensive tackle Michael Bennett. While there are many possible targets in the 1st round, should the value not match what the Patriots are looking for, Bennett would be worth taking in the second day of the draft.

Bennett won't be Wilfork. They are different players. Wilfork could plant his feet in the ground and make two offensive linemen try to push him back. Bennett is more athletic, and is fantastic using his arms and hands to disengage blocks and get passed linemen. He has the ability to perform spin moves in combination with his violent hands to embarrass linemen who can't keep up with him.

Height: 6'2"
Weight: 293 lbs
Arm Length: 33 and 5/8 inches

Pro Day Numbers:
40 Yard Dash - 4.98 and 5.03
Vertical Jump - 35.5"

College Stats:
111 tackles, 31.5 tackles for a loss, 18 sacks, 7 forced fumbles

Professional Comparison:
Henry Melton - 6'3" 290 lbs - Melton has always been able to get after the quarterback, but struggles at times in the run game.

Explosive first step off the snap. Hands are fast and powerful. Able to use leverage to set up pass rushing moves. Implements spin moves with great efficiency. Will be able to get to the QB from inside. Understands how to bend to expose bad leverage by offensive linemen. Quick enough to beat occasional double team. Most issues can be corrected easily with coaching and conditioning.

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Can be taken out of plays if he is locked on by a linemen. Sometimes puts his head down and takes himself out of the play. Doesn't have a high motor. Will give up on plays if they are away from him. While explosive in first few steps, he won't be making plays in the open field. Oftentimes, he gets too high out of his stance, allowing himself to be blocked. If he can't get initial penetration, he backs off and gives up on his pass rush.

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Mid 2nd to Mid 3rd Round. With the deep DT position in the first three rounds, one with injury issues of late could very well slip to the end of the 2nd round. It likely will depend on how confident teams are that Bennett can hold up better against NFL offensive linemen and recover from his knee injury.

Will the Patriots draft him?
If the Patriots go elsewhere in the first round, I could see them drafting Bennett if they stay at 64. One thing that could very well happen is the Patriots trade down from 32 only to to trade up again to draft twice in the beginning of the 2nd round, where the value for players in that range are worthy of 1st round consideration.

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Adam Bogdan 4/07/2015 09:15:00 PM Edit

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