2012 Team Needs: New England Patriots

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2012 Team Needs: New England Patriots

Postby Pudge » Mon Mar 05, 2012 4:22 pm

Team Needs: New England Patriots


5.0 - High priority. This is a position that is a glaring weakness and there is the likelihood that this team cannot compete next year without making a major addition here.

4.0 - Medium Priority. This is an area that is an obvious weakness, but the team isn't quite desperate to make a major move here possibly because they have some young potential. But this is an area that if the team cannot fix via free agency, will definitely use one of their picks in the first three or four rounds to supplement.

3.0 - Upgrade Potential. This is a position that isn't a weakness per se, but there is significant room for an upgrade. If the right player comes along they will certainly snag him, but if they don't fix this position with a major free agent addition or early round pick, then it's not the end of the world.

2.0 - Depth Need. An area where there is a need to add depth. Perhaps there is an aging veteran and they might want to start to look at grooming his heir apparent or replacement. Not likely to be a high priority and a position that more than likely will be address in the middle and late rounds rather than with a top pick.

1.0 - Future Need. This is an area that is not a priority, and doesn't initially appear as a need. But there is some room to develop some depth for perhaps two or more years down the line. This is usually an area that a team will look at in the late rounds if at all.

0.0 - Non-need. This is a position that is a strength of their team, they have a solid starter, capable depth, and/or a young player at the position that they like and want to develop. Very little possibility this area is addressed and would be the equivalent of a wasted draft pick.

Top 10 Needs

1. DE - 4.0
2. CB - 4.0
3. WR - 3.5
4. S - 3.5
5. OC - 3.0
6. DT - 3.0
7. OG - 2.5
8. LB - 2.0
9. TE - 2.0
10. RB - 1.5

Quarterback - Hoyer is a restricted free agent and there is talk that he could be on the market for a draft pick, but it seems doubtful he'll generate a ton of interest, likely leaving him, Tom Brady, and Ryan Mallett as their trio for another year. NEED: 0.0

Running Back - They would like to re-sign BenJarvus Green-Ellis, but only for a good price. If they lose him, they are likely to move forward with Stevan Ridley, Shane Vereen, and Danny Woodhead. Although they might add a veteran for depth. NEED: 1.5

Fullback - They don't use this position, although they did pick up Lousaka Polite late in the season. But Aaron Hernandez can fill in ably here. NEED: 0.0

Wide Receiver - Wes Welker was tagged and so he should be back. Deion Branch is a free agent that is a solid complementary option, but at this point is just a No. 3, so they won't overspend for him. They need to find someone on the outside that can them challenge down the field. Drafting someone could be tough given the complexity of their offense, but with Chad Ochocinco it showed that even a veteran is not a sure thing. NEED: 3.5

Tight End - Gronk and Hernandez are a solid duo, although they like having a third guy that can be a full-time blocker. NEED: 2.0

Offensive Tackle - Matt Light might decide to hang it up, but they are seemingly set between Sebastian Vollmer and Nate Solder. If Light retires, they'd be smart to add a veteran backup to the mix since Vollmer was beat up throughout last year. NEED: 1.0

Offensive Guard - Logan Mankins and Brian Waters were one of the better duos in the league, but Waters is entering the final year of his deal and contemplating retirement. They will definitely be looking at options to replace him sooner or later. NEED: 2.5

Center - Dan Koppen is a free agent, but Dan Connolly and Ryan Wendell were decent stopgaps. Connolly is a free agent and would be a good bet to return because of his ability to provide depth at all three interior spots. But if they don't keep Koppen, they will likely look towards the draft to add a young long-term solution. NEED: 3.0

Defensive Tackle - Vince Wilfork is a force in the middle, but is not the consistent disruptive force in the middle to make the 4-3 work. Kyle Love is a good run defender, but also limited in a 4-3 defense. Brandon Deaderick is a good rotational piece, but not quite the guy they need in the starting lineup that can provide pressure that they thought they were getting with signing Haynesworth last summer. NEED: 3.0

Defensive End - Andre Carter was productive, but he's not getting any younger. Mark Anderson was solid down the stretch, but is mostly a situational pass rusher rather than a long-term starter. They need to find some edge rushers if they want to make the 4-3 work. But even if they switch back to the 3-4, they still will want a guy that can be the force like Seymour was. NEED: 4.0

Linebacker - Rob Ninkovich, Jerod Mayo, and Brandon Spikes are a solid trio for their 4-3 defense. If they move back to the 3-4, then they will need an edge pass rusher. Gary Guyton is a good backup, but is a free agent. If he isn't re-signed then they might add more depth. Jermaine Cunningham hasn't been able to stay healthy or productive enough to be a sure bet here. NEED: 2.0

Cornerback - Devin McCourty regressed this past year. But they got solid contribution from Sterling Moore, but he's more suited to being a nickel corner. Between Ras-I Dowling and Kyle Arrington they have some bodies, but they would be smart to add a veteran rather than another developmental guy that might take too long to contribute. NEED: 4.0

Safety - Patrick Chung is their best player. James Ihedigbo, Sergio Brown, and Josh Barrett would all make good backups, but they were counted on to be starters last year, and for the most part failed. They like Barrett, but injuries cost him his season. They need to find some upgrades here, and if they cannot find a veteran in free agency, it will be a priority in the draft. NEED: 3.5

Kicker - Gostkowski is solid, this is not a need. NEED: 0.0

Punter - Zoltan Mesko is a solid young punter, this is also not a need. NEED: 0.0

Return Specialist - Julian Edelman is a solid punt returner, but they could use some new blood on kickoffs. NEED: 1.5

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