NFL trade deadline: Patriots reportedly targeting this position

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Report: Patriots targeting this position at NFL trade deadline originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston

We should know by now to expect the unexpected with Bill Belichick and the New England Patriots.

As Tuesday's 4 p.m. ET NFL trade deadline approaches, the Patriots appear to have areas of need at three positions: cornerback, wide receiver and offensive line.

According to Greg Bedard of the Boston Sports Journal, though, New England's interest lies in a different area.

NFL trade deadline tracker: Latest Patriots rumors, news and deals

From Bedard:

"According to league sources who are familiar with what the Patriots are looking for at the trade deadline, New England is trying to land a combination (run/pass) defensive end."

Bedard didn't list any names, but noted the Patriots are seeking a quality pass rusher who also can defend the run.

The Patriots have a standout pass rusher in Matt Judon, who ranks fourth in the NFL with eight sacks in eight games. Second-year linebacker Josh Uche has three sacks of his own and has played well at times, too.

But New England certainly could improve its 16th-ranked run defense (112.8 yards allowed per game), especially with three top-10 rushing offenses on their upcoming schedule in the Cleveland Browns, Tennessee Titans and Buffalo Bills.

Whether the Patriots can find such a defensive end remains to be seen: Defensive ends Melvin Ingram and Charles Omenihu both were dealt earlier Tuesday, per reports.

Other potential defensive end trade targets include the Miami Dolphins' Emmanuel Ogbah, the Las Vegas Raiders' Clelin Ferrell, the Seattle Seahawks' LJ Collier and old friend Trey Flowers, who's now with the Detroit Lions.