In response to speedster81's comment:
Ideally, this is what the Pats do in the offseason:
1) Make a play for Keenan Lewis CB - Pittsburgh. Anyone watched the two games the Steelers and Ravens played will see what a great job Pittsburgh's corners did in press man vs torrey smith and co. Its no wonder the steelers were able to beat Baltimore in Baltimore with their 3rd string QB. Pay particular attention to the the job Lewis did against Anquan Boldin. He made Boldin look outmatched in a way I have never seen before. At 6ft 210pounds, good strength and elite speed, Lewis can play press man and win against any type of corner.
2) Sign DT Desmond Bryant or Randy Starks - Both of these guys give you elite Run Defense and Consistent Pressure from the inside. Signing a rookie DT and expecting him to dominate against NFL Veteran O Line men who have been in Professional Strength and Conditioning programs for years in simply not realistic. It usually takes rookie DT's a few seasons to start playing up to their potential.
3) Sign Brian Hartline - The case for an outside WR has already been well made on this board. No use beating a dead horse.
4) Sign Kaluka Maiava OLB Cleveland - Excellent coverage Linebacker who can play on all downs. The past season the stats showed we actually did well covering the opposing No 1 and 2 receivers but ranked close to bottom of the league against The 3 Receiver, RB and TE. Improving speed and athleticism at MLB and SLB would go a long way towards fixing this. I would move Hightower to MLB and PLAY Maiava at SLB. Spikes would rotate with Hightower as needed.
5) Resign Welker!
6) Bring back Andre Carter as part of the DE rotation. Had a good season at Oakland and is even further Removed fom his Quad Injury. John Abraham and Dwight Freeney would also be good albeit more expensive options.
2a) Pick 1: Trade down to late 30's or early 40's and get an extra 3rder.Pick Larry Warford G Kentucky : Elite run blocking on the level of Chance Warmack and good pass protector. Very good feet and amazing strength. Won his matchups this season against all the DT's he went against. He beat Shariff Floyd, Dominated Sheldon Richardson and Shut out John Jenkins. Going into the season, my hope is that the Pats focus on improving their Perimeter passing game and continue improving their running game. Warford IMO would be a great improvement over Dan Conolly especially in those 3rd and Short situations where we seemed to struggle in the Conference Championship game. Warford has ALL Pro Potential.
2b) Pick 2: #59: Justin Hunter WR Tennesee: Coming back from an ACL, he had a decent season but I expect him to get better this year as he is further removed from the ACL injury. At 6-4, 196, he has really good body control,leaping ability and route running. Has had a few issues with drops this season but is an issue that can be fixed. Hunter was a consensus first round pick going into this past season.
3a) Zaviar Gooden LB Missouri: 4.47 40 and superb lateral agility make Gooden an intriguing option as a 3 down player. Expect the Pats to look at lighter LBers like Gooden and Arthur Brown in this draft in an attempt to fix their pass defense when in base. Gooden can keep up with Wide Receivers in the slot, Man up against RB's such as spiller, Bush and Rice in the passing game and even play faster Te's like Hernandez in man coverage. What he may give up in the run game due to his smaller stature can be masked by playing behind bigger DT's like Wilfork. It was widely rumored the Pats were very interested in Lavonte David and Demario Davis in last years draft.
3b) Marcus Latimore RB South Carolina: Value pick. If he returns to pre injury form then this is undoubtedly the biggest steal of the draft. Lattimore, Ridley and Vereen running behind a Line of Solder, Mankins, Wendell, Warford and Cannon would be extremely formidable . As Brady grows older, its only fair that others should carry more of the responsibility for the teams success much like the late 90's Broncos did with Terell Davis carrying the team to back to back Super Bowls.
7a) Quanterus Smith DE Western Kentucky.
7b) Kenny Tate OLB Maryland.
I can't say I agree with everything here, but man you gave some real good analysis on some of the free agents. Very good stuff.