Top 5 Positions the New England Patriots Should Draft
Drafting These 5 Positions Should be Priority for the New England Patriots
There are many positions that the New England Patriots should draft this year to secure the competitiveness of the team for seasons to come. Contrary to popular belief I think they should hold off on drafting a quarterback for at least 1-2 more years. Tom Brady never hits the ground and hasn't been beaten like Brett Favre was during his illustrious career. Favre played until he was 41 while Brady is still 36.
Focusing on the offense in the draft is also something I highly suggest against because of the additions of Kenbrell Thompkins and Aaron Dobson in last year's draft. Danny Amendola and Julian Edelman, as long as he's retained, are also awesome receivers in Brady's arsenal. Like I said in my last post, maybe going out and getting a guy like Sidney Rice in free agency is an option to solidify the team's WR position.
I believe the focus for this year's draft for the Patriots should be mostly on the defense. The passing defense was middle of the pack last year in terms of passing yards per game allowed. But, the previous three seasons, the Patriots' passing defense was fourth or worse in that same category every year. I don't know if last year was a fluke, and quite honestly, I don't think the Patriots should feel any different.
The team's rushing defense was pathetic last year, to put it nicely. In terms of total rushing yards on the season and rushing yards per game, the Patriots defense was third worst in the league in both categories. Having Jerod Mayo and Vince Wilfork out really hurt, but the guys filling in for them just didn't step up enough to get the job done each week. The Patriots also haven't won a Super Bowl since they had a great defense, now 10 years ago.
So, here's the top five positions the Patriots should look to improve upon in this year's draft, May 8-10.
There are only three current safeties on the Patriots' roster right now. Kanorris Davis only saw snaps in five games this year, two of those coming in the playoffs. Adrian Wilson is 34 years old and missed all of last season with an Achilles injury that required surgery. Steve Gregory, the lone Patriot safety with a great sample size of playing time from last year, is only 31 and had only two passes defended in 14 games last season. An upgrade needs to be in place at this position or the secondary will go right back to where it was two years ago, nearly setting an NFL record for most passing yards allowed in a season.
Like the deficiency of bodies at the safety position, the Patriots only have four defensive ends currently on the roster. It's more like three though, since one of them, Armond Armstead, has never seen playing time in any game in the league. Jake Bequette, a player in only eight total games the last two seasons, has amassed a grand total of zero in every statistical category possible. Andre Carter is 34 years old and joined the team last season towards the end of October. He only recorded two sacks in nine games. Chandler Jones is the only player at the position guaranteed a roster spot this year and led the team last season with 11.5 sacks.
Vince Wilfork is 32 years old and coming off of a right Achilles tear that ended his season last year in Week 4. Yes, he has been a mainstay in the Patriots defense for over a decade now, but father time is catching up with him and he'll need a replacement soon enough. Whether it's this year, next year or the year after, the Patriots should take a nose tackle in this year's draft to learn behind one of the best to ever play the game at the position. Almost like grooming a QB, the Patriots should now groom a NT.
Besides Rob Gronkowski, the TE position for the Patriots is lacking, to say the least. In today's league with the adoption of the two tight end set, Gronkowski needs a running mate, and a backup if he gets hurt again.
D.J. Williams was an emergency pickup when "Gronk" got injured again last year. He had only two passes thrown his way, catching none of them. Matthew Mulligan had only two catches last year, one of them being a one-yard touchdown grab against the Atlanta Falcons on Sept. 29. Michael Hoomanawanui, Brady's primary TE in Gronkowski's absence, had only 12 catches for 136 yards and a touchdown all of last season. Gronkowski can put those numbers up in one game!
Last but not least, comes the CB position. The Patriots have four good ones, but their futures in Foxboro are not all secure. Kyle Arrington doesn't seem like he's going anywhere, and hopefully doesn't since he runs the fastest 40-yard dash on the team. Logan Ryan, who led the team with five INTs last year, is also seemingly staying put. Alfonzo Dennard is on the cusp because of his legal issues, and if they keep arising, you know Bill Belichick has a short leash for players like that. Aqib Talib is an unrestricted free agent that might not get the money he wants, or deserves, from the Patriots. It's going to be interesting to see what transpires with him, but I hope he gets a nice 3-4 year deal to stay with the team. If he goes, that's a HUGE hole to fill.
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