Re: What Is Pats' Most Pressing Need in 2012?
posted at 2/28/2012 4:28 PM EST
In Response to What Is Pats' Most Pressing Need in 2012?
[QUOTE] Every year, I prepare a mock draft in order to familiarize myself with the needs of every NFL team, the college prospect available through the draft, and to get some idea as to who will be available for the Patriots when their selection spots come up. Though I'm a believer in the Pats' choosing the best player available to them, rather than fill needs, it's helpful to know what what their needs are. Here's my opinion of the teams' greatest needs: 1.) WR: Though other positions are deemed more vital to a team (QB, OL, DL), and rightfully so, the Patriots are so pitiful at WR that a complete overhaul of their corp is needed. No...this does not include Wes Welker, who is an inside slot man. Folks, the Patriots have nothing at this position. Though this is a somewhat simplistic, the better teams have been beating the Patriots over the past few years by playing their safeties close to the line of scrimmage, and daring the Pats to throw deep. Doing this has made it harder for the Pats to successfully establish the run, and has made it much more difficult to dink and dunk the ball down-field. As I have discussed in great detail in previous posts, the Pats have failed miserably in finding help at this position through the draft...and have wasted several high draft choices in the process. Nor does the answer lie in patching the problem with relics...as we've seen with Joey Galloway, the 33 year old version of Randy Moss, and, most recently, Chad Ochocinco. Therefore, I look for the Patriots to make a couple of moves through free agency. I don't want the 33 going on 34 year old Reggie Wayne. To me, the Pats would be repeating a mistake by going this route. Plus, is the past his prime Wayne the deep threat that the Patriots need? Guys like Mike Wallace, DeSean Jackson, Vincent Jackson, and Pierre Garcon appeal to me. But Wallace probably will end up being franchised somehow by the Steelers, as will DeSean Jackson by Philly. That leaves Vincent Jackson and Garcon available. Of the two, I'd prefer Jackson. But...is the 29 year old WR's prime focus on getting paid, or on winning a championship? Unlike Wallace or D. Jackson, he'd cost the team nothing in compensation. Garcon is just 26, and is an ascending player. As for you Brandon Lloyd lovers, he's 31 years old, and has had just one big season. I question whether he's the deep threat that the Patriots' need. Furthermore, if he wanted to join Josh McDaniels so bad in New England, why did he hire agent Tom Condon, who BB loathes, to represent him? 2.) OL: Job one on this team remains to serve and protect an aging Tom Brady. The Pats must bring in a young, talented OG/C to solidify their OL. They got very lucky with 34 year old RG Brian Waters last year. He's talking retirement. Dan Koppen is 33 years old, and has been injury prone over the past few years. Dan Connelly has played well, but seems better suited in a reserve role; 3.) DL: Vince Wilfolk enjoyed his finest season last year. But, at age 30, the Pats' "Dancing Bear" needs some help. DE Brandon Deaderick and DT Kyle Love made strides last year. But, a young Richard Seymour type is needed. ; 4.) Safety: Though some would place this position as a higher need, unlike at WR, the Pats have something there. There just needs to be an upgrade; 5.) OLB/DE: The duo of Andre Carter and Mark Anderson significantly improved the Pats ability to rush the passer last year. But, both Carter and Anderson are UFAs. Carter is old, and coming off a serious leg injury. Anderson must be resigned. A young stud pass-rusher is needed...though the red-shirted Markell Carter could be waiting in the wings.
Posted by TexasPat[/QUOTE]
Hi Tex, I agree with you about receiver.
I also see DE as a position they need to upgrade. Theoretically speaking DE is the most important position in the 4-3 alignment.
DE is supposed to be that one skill position you overpay for in the 4-3.
That said BB made the switch to 4-3 without the right players for that impact position and the defense struggled in other ways to compensate for a sporadic pass rush.
If BB wants to stick with the 4-3 than with one move he could bring in a stud that would have more impact on defensive success than any of the other positions.
The Colts ran the 4-3 within the cover 2 system framework for years with Freeny and Mathis providing more than enough fire power at that position to make up for argumentatively 9 other JAGs.
Its clear to me thats where they need some help.
Personally I don't like seeing Brady throw bombs anymore although opposing defenses do especially in the playoffs.
A receiver to take the top off is one thing but that receiver needs to be willing to go over the middle and at least catch the ball and dive a la Branch or else become another YAC threat.