My breakdown of the team
posted at 3/7/2010 5:12 PM EST
Feel free to ripe me apart for this or add to it but this is my basic breakdown of the team so far
NT's - With Wilfork resigning this isn't a big need but would love for Brace to become a solid backup.
DE's - Currently with Warren locking down one side and Wright and Pryor we have a couple of 2 down ends so a 3 down DE isn't overly needed.
Problem: Both Depth and a 3rd down pass rusher.
Solution: a DE/OLB tweener who can put some fingers on the ground could fill the spot well. Or a project rushing DT/DE who can come in for 3rd downs and develope over the year.
Players to watch: Brugess FA (I know but as a cheap 3rd down tweener for pure rushing he's not a bad option), Jason Tylor FA, Ricky Sapp DE/OLB (2nd), Graham DE/OLB (1st/2nd), Jared OrOdrick DT/DE (1st/2nd), Sergio Kindle DE/OLB (1st/2nd), Jerry Hughes DE/OLB (2nd)
DB's - Safety seems to be set and not an issue. CB Butler will be your 2nd cb and Springs will be in relief rotation possible in with Nickel.
Problem: Unless Bodden is resigned there is a huge hole. Nickel is also a concern with both W's not developing as they should. Draft picks tend to take awhile to develope so don't look for a starter in the draft unless they fill in for nickel.
Players to watch: Bodden FA, Nick Harper FA, Lito Sheppard FA, Deshea Townsend FA, Kyle Wilson (1st/2nd), Devin McCourty (1st/2nd), Kareem Jackson (2nd), Brandon Ghee (2nd)
LB's - Mayo locks up one of the spots with TBC potentially locking up one of the outside spots. McKenzie, Guyton, and Ninkovich in rotation
Problems: 2 positions are still up for grabs and a pass rusher who could drop back is a big need.
Solution: This could be solved with 2 players, a pure pass rusher, and a 2 down LB.
Players to watch: Burgess FA, Angelo Crowell FA, Chike Okeafor FA, Ricky Sapp DE/OLB (2nd), Graham DE/OLB (1st/2nd), Koa Misi (2nd/3rd), Sergio Kindle DE/OLB (1st/2nd), Jerry Hughes DE/OLB (2nd), Sean Weatherspoon ILB (1st/2nd)
QB - Hoyer is the only Backup, look for 1 more to be added either late in draft or veteran.
TE - caugh
Problem: We have none
Solution: We need atleast 2 TE's. Look for the possibilty of a OL guy being moved to a blocking TE but a recieving TE is needed.
Players to watch: Olson trade, Alge Crumpler FA, David Martin FA, Jermaine Gresham (1st/2nd), Rob Gronkowski (2nd), Jimmy Graham (3rd/4th)
WR's - Moss and Edelman are the only 2 coming in with starting abilities.
Problem: Welkers out for atleast the beginning part of the season, lack of real depth, Moss departing after next year and no true #2
Solution: this one is going to take some effort but Aiken fills the #4 wr and Edelman can play slot while Welker is out. Tate is an unknown and could replace Aiken at #4 or move into the #2 slot. A starting verteran would go a long way and drafting Moss's future raplacement
Players to watch: Laveranues Coles FA, Josh Reed FA, Derrick Mason FA, Golden Tate (1st), Brandon LaFell (2nd), Damian Williams (2nd), Demaryius Thomas (2nd/3rd)
RB - Maroney is still on board and so is Taylor and GJGE
Problem: Where to start if Faulk leaves then our best RB will be gone. Maroney is not the #1 back everyone hoped he'd be and no real #2 to support him. On short yardage we had numerous issues getting even just a couple of yards, this could be in part to the OL but a true #1 is still needed.
Solution: A veteran that is not off the scrap heap or a young rb is needed bad.
Players to watch: Faulk FA, Thomas Jones FA, Ryan Mathews (1st/2nd), Dexter McCluster (2nd/3rd), Ben Tate (3rd/4th), Joique Bell (4th/5th)
OL - The starters seemed locked up with Vollmer, Light, Koppen, Neal, Mankins but depth and upgrades are always needed
Problem: Light is getting old and moving him to RT placing the better Vollmer at LT might not be an option. Neal is injury prone and an upgrade could be due. Koppen works well with Brady but has trouble opening holes up the middle for the running game.
Solution: Ohrn and Connolly adds depth but a veteran in reserve and a couple project OL replacements in the draft would solidify the line.
Players to watch: Evan Mathis G RFA, Chester Pitts G FA, Bobbie Williams G FA, Maurkice Pouncey C/G/RT (1st/2nd), Matt Tennant C (3rd/4th), Vladmire Ducasse G/RT (2nd/3rd), Mike Johnson G (4th/5th), Jared Veldheer G/T (2nd/3rd), Tony Washington T (2nd/3rd), Kyle Calloway RT (3rd/4th), Sam Young RT (3rd/4th)
I hold no hope of anyone past the 4th becoming a starter and only give a 4th selection a 25% chance so even if all 4 of our first picks become starters a bunch of FA's vets are needed. I see them addressing the OLB, OL, TE situation early in the draft either through trade or picks leaving 1 pick left. This coud go towards either RB or WR but I see them using it to add depth to CB or DL regardless of a FA signing. There are so many holes that need to be filled something needs to suffer and WR and RB look like the positions BB feels least comfortable with drafting. Good news is they have a chance to plug in stop gaps for a year or 2 but they are not long term solutions and they might not work as we've seen many of these FA type signings fail. This is a position the Pats have never been put in before and it makes me beyond nervous. It made me so nervous, frustration got the better of me after the first day of FA watching the Pats lose out on chances to get some of the top FA's on both the WR and CB side. It will be interesting to see how things turn out.