As I’m sure many of you already know, the Patriots have a penchant for drafting first-round players whose last names start with “W” or “M”. (McCourty, Mayo, Meriweather, Mankins, Maroney, Wilfork, Warren, Watson…) Two of those players, Vince Wilfork and Ty Warren have made up two-thirds of the starting defensive line for the past few years.
In 2010, it looks more and more like they will be joined by another first-round “W”, free-agent signee Gerard Warren. The 6-4/330 former Gator was the third overall pick in the 2001 NFL Draft, where the Patriots selected Richard Seymour sixth.
The three defenders make up the “WWW” group, soon to be dominating an offensive line near you. While they look to be very stingy against the run, rushing the passer might be a bit more of a problem. Mike Wright and Myron Pryor, two backup DL’s, have proven that they can be effective pressuring the opposing quarterback. Brandon Deaderick, Damione Lewis, and Ron Brace will also be looked upon to provide depth.
Derrick Burgess and Jermaine Cunningham are two other players that might see some time at the defensive end position during pass-rush situations, although both players will primarily be looked at as OLB’s.