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Rodney Harrison on M&M: Darrelle Revis, Brandon Browner ‘will definitely change the course of that secondary’

05.08.14 at 2:01 pm ET
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Former Patriots safety Rodney Harrison joined Mut & Merloni on Thursday to discuss the upcoming NFL draft and the current state of the Patriots secondary. To hear the interview, go to the Mut & Merloni audio on demand page.

The 2014 NFL draft will finally kick off Thursday night at Radio City Music Hall in New York City. The Patriots will start off with the 29th pick.

“I think [safety] is definitely a need for the Patriots, but also a defensive tackle,” Harrison said. “Vince [Wilfork] is coming off of major surgery and rehab and he’€™s getting a little older right now. … But if you can solidify that defense with a top-notch secondary, there’€™s no reason this team can’t return back to the Super Bowl.”

The Patriots have struggled in recent years with drafting and developing safeties, with players such as Brandon Meriweather, Patrick Chung and Tavon Wilson failing to make a huge impact with the team.

“€œIt’s just that sometimes we overrate and underrate what a person does in college. … Khalil Mack can easily wind up like Vernon Gholston and become a complete bust. … You just never know,” Harrison said. “I think when you’re going into the draft, I think you have to get the player that’s going to come in right now and fit the mold of your team.

“€œNot necessarily the best player, but the player that has the personality, the build, that can come right away and contribute to your team.”

The Seahawks opened up their wallets on Wednesday, giving All-Pro cornerback Richard Sherman a four-year $57.4 million contract extension that includes $40 million in guaranteed money. Sherman’€™s large payday will undoubtedly have a big effect on new Patriots cornerback Darelle Revis, who once again will hit the open market next offseason unless the Patriots are willing to make an enormous financial commitment.

“€œI think right now you just have to play it out. You’ve got to see how Darelle Revis looks. He went to the Pro Bowl last year, but he wasn’t 100 percent still. It always takes two years. … You feel better the following year of your surgery, but it takes two years to really feel close to 100 percent,” Harrison said. “€œI think you’€™re going to get to see the real Darelle Revis this year.

“€œHe will be looking to get another payday, and whether that means $12 million a year, $15 million a year, I think once he finds out the system that Bill Belichick has … [and] he plays well, they can agree on a nice four- or five-year contract which keeps him there and eventually he can retire with the Patriots.”

Added Harrison: “The two guys [Revis and Brandon Browner] that the Patriots have will definitely change the course of that secondary. It brings maturity, it just brigs accountability and leadership.”

Following are more highlights from the interview. For more Patriots news, visit the team page at weei.com/patriots.

On whether Bill Belichick will showcase a more aggressive defense this season: “The reason why we were so successful was because we had guys in the secondary that could cover. … It gives you flexibility, it gives you versatility in your secondary to do so many different things to disguise, to play different coverages. … That’s all Bill Belichick wants. He wants versatility and wants the ability to play more man-to-man coverage and go after the quarterback and hit him in his mouth.”

On how the Patriots and Broncos stack up in the overall hierarchy in the AFC: “€œI think in the AFC, those are the two top teams. I think Baltimore is a sneaky team that quietly gets better each year, but I think the Patriots and Broncos are the obvious teams. … I think one of these two teams will be in the Super Bowl.”

Read More: Darelle Revis, Mut & Merloni, NFL Draft, Rodney Harrison
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