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While the New England Patriots are currently in the middle of what appears to be at least another run towards the playoffs Donald Trump Color Rush Jersey , they will have their hands full whenever their season ultimately comes to an end: 24 of the players currently on the team’s pay roll — either on the active roster or a reserve list — will enter free agency next March, with 19 of them about to hit the unrestricted market.One of the position groups that could see significant turnover is the defensive front seven: players like Trey Flowers, Malcom Brown and Danny Shelton all will see their contracts expire in a little more than three months. While there certainly is a chance that all or at least some of them return or get extended before that happens, New England might look drastically different up front next year.It is therefore no surprise to see two recent mock drafts address this area of the Patriots defense. CBS’ Chris Trapasso, who sees the Patriots finish near the season as one of its top teams, has the team target a talented linebacker out of Washington:Burr-Kirven is in the middle of a career-year at Washington. Through his first 11 games, the senior linebacker leads the Huskies with 145 tackles while also registering 1.0 sack, one interception and four forced fumbles with two recoveries. A physical and explosive defender that excels in short-area pass coverage, Burren-Kirven brings all the traits to the tableyou would want from an off-the-ball linebacker in today’s NFL.The questions surrounding him have to do with size: listed at 6’0, 222 lbs, Burr-Kirven is undersized for the linebacker position at the next level. Teams might therefore opt to use him in more of a tweener-role between his college position and strong safety — think a mix between Patrick Chung and a hyper-athletic Elandon Roberts. He would therefore fit in well in New England and with a coaching staff usually putting its players in a position to succeed.The question is whether or not the Patriots would consider adding another linebacker, one that is more of a project, to a group that already has a solid one-two punch in Dont’a Hightower and Kyle Van Noy and is projected to get rookie Ja’Whaun Bentley back off injured reserve next season.Draftwire’s Gavino Borquez also recently released a new mock draft, his covering the first three rounds. And just like his colleague from CBS https://www.patriotsfanstore.com/Eric-Rowe-Jersey , Borquez also gives the Patriots another front-seven defender in round one:At 6’5, 305 lbs, Jerry Tillery has the size to develop into a starting-level interior defender in the NFL — something the Patriots might be looking for with Malcom Brown and Danny Shelton headed towards free agency. In the middle of a breakout season, the Notre Dame product is showing off what makes him an intriguing prospect: he has registered 6.0 sacks already and still only appears to be scratching his surface.Tillery is not the most outstanding athlete and does not come with plenty of positional versatility along the defensive line — he will primarily be a three-technique defensive tackle — but he has the skills to work in a two-gap system like New England’s and more than anything else needs to work on his technique. The Patriots, who could turn him into their 2019 version of Alan Branch, might therefore be an ideal destination for Tillery.In the second round, with the 55th overall selection, Borquez has the Patriots target West Virginia’s Will Grier — which would make for New England’s highest pick invested in at the quarterback position since Jimmy Garoppolo was taken 62nd overall in 2014. And even more so than Garoppolo, Grier would come with the “quarterback of the future?”-tag attached to him.After all, current starter Tom Brady will turn 42 next August; and while the future Hall of Famer is still going strong, grooming a potential successor should be as high up as any on the list of priorities for the club. Grier certainly would be an interesting candidate: slightly undersized at 6’1, 215 lbs, he is completing 67.2% of his pass attempts through 10 games this season (234 of 348) for 3,325 yards Josh Gordon Jersey , 33 touchdowns and 8 interceptions.Grier’s accuracy, touch and decision making are his best traits and will make him a highly touted prospect next spring. However, he is a player that needs plenty of development to turn into a starting-caliber player at the next level (something he would get as Brady’s backup): his mechanics and feel for the pocket in particular are not yet at the level they need to be in order to compete in the NFL.With their other selections, the Patriots are projected to go offense and defense. With the 59th overall selection, Borquez has New England choose Stanford wide receiver J.J. Arcega-Whiteside (round 2, pick 59), a 6’3 wideout who wins with his physicality and reliable hands but lacks elite straight-line speed. With the 71st pick, Notre Dame linebacker Te’Von Coney, a smart player with limited athletic skills, is brought aboard. With the New England Patriots’ bye week effectively over — the team returned to work yesterday after four days off — they will turn their attention to the upcoming opponent, the New York Jets. The Jets are obviously a familiar opponent for the Patriots considering that they meet them at least twice a year. This season, however, New York and New England did not yet cross paths; Sunday’s game will be the first between the two long-time rivals.But despite their last meeting taking place in December 2017, the Patriots and Jets know each other well as New England offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels pointed out during a conference call on Monday. “It seems to be the same challenge each year when we play them Antonio Garcia Color Rush Jersey ,” McDaniels said when asked about his team’s upcoming game. “we’re going to need a great week of preparation here coming off the bye.”This process of preparing for the Jets might also involve deviations from the norm — after all, the teams have met several times over the years with the same basic coaching staffs in place on each side. Patriots head coach Bill Belichick and McDaniels have worked together since the coordinator’s return to the team in 2012. Meanwhile, the Jets’ defensive staff led by head coach Todd Bowles and coordinator Kacy Rodgers has been in place since 2015.Consequently, both teams might be looking for ways to break tendencies when going against that familiar a foe. However, according to McDaniels adding new wrinkles to a game plan is not as easy as it sounds. “There’s always a balance there,” the 42-year old said. “There’s certainly a time and a place to try to protect the things that you do best and or change something up to give the defense a different look.”“But I think you’ve got to be careful with going overboard on that and doing too many things that are unfamiliar to your players,” McDaniels continued. As deep as New England’s playbook is — having plenty of experienced players led by 19-year veteran quarterback Tom Brady allows you to do that — players need to be kept in a certain comfort zone to be able to consistently produce the desired results.“The most important thing is that they know what to do and they can do it at a high level,” McDaniels pointed out yesterday. “If you try something new or you try to add a wrinkle here and there and protect something that you’re doing, that’s great. You’ve just got to make sure that they know how to do it the right way and feel good about executing it [...] There’s a balance between all those things.”For McDaniels, mixing things up is not primarily what brings success. “At the end of the day, toughness and execution are the most important things. If we do a good job and play physical and we execute the techniques and fundamentals that we have been working on and that we’re good at better than the opponent does, then you have a chance to have success,” he said. “There’s a lot of plays that come down to that each week.”

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