Re: So what needs to be done now?
posted at 4/3/2013 3:16 PM EDT
I'm hoping Abraham signs because he's the situational pass rusher the Pats could use. What I see left that is needed right now is:
Interior pass rusher/presence - Someone next to Wilfork who can push the pocket and take some pressure off of big Vince. They don't need to get double digit sacks but someone who can prevent QB's from stepping up in the pocket and makes QB's feel uncomfortable. With current FA's I don't see anyone that interests me (sorry but the bad blood between Seymour and BB is to much to expect him back) so it looks like to me that draft would be wear I'd go.
#2 durable WR - Amendola can replace Welker if healthy but that's a huge question mark. Jones is another huge health question mark but should be an upgrade over Branch. That leaves a big hole at the #2 WR position and I'd much rather fill it with a durable player that has a history of not being sidelined. Sanders might be able to fill that role if they get him or they could try to bring back Lloyd on small money.
#4 CB - Talib hasn't finish a full season in his career, Arrington is best only out of the star position, Dennard only has one year under his belt and we know with the Pats curse there tends to be a drop off the second year. It would be foolish not to have a starting caliber backup who can play inside or out, or one to push Dennard inside with Arrington and let them fight for time depending on opponent. I'm not seeing a lot out there right now as most of the older players are worn to the point we might not get more then sub dime roles from them (ie Jammer and Winfield) and some of the younger guys were inconsistent before their injures and might be better suited as nickels instead of competition for full time jobs (ie Lacey and Mouton). There are a couple I like, such as Brown or Hanson who might give you a good season. Imo it might be better to target one in the draft with higher upside and might take over for Talib next year if his contract demands are to high or he blows up during the season
#4/5 WR - Sorry to some but I'm not sure Jenkins is a real possibility. I'm not comfortable that a WR depleted Minn team let him go for not much extra in cap space and that he's been slowed even further since his knee injury. BB also appears worried about it too since he got him for non-garaunteed vet min money. I'd like to bring in another player to compete with Jenkins as a bigger red zone threat type of WR or at least bring in a rook with higher upside that could challenge for a starting job should Jones or Amendola gets injured. My first choice would be get a Rogers, Wheaton, Bailey as a possible #2 WR and bring in Nelson or Ramses to compete with Jenkins for that larger WR role
Situational pass rusher/coverage LB - I'd like to grab a vet but also feel there might be solutions already on the team. If they go coverage LB they can move Hightower to a sub rusher role where he was used in Ala. If they go pass rusher in someone like Abraham then they can use A Wilson as a 4th LB in a 443 type fo coverage situation. They have some flexibility in there and might actually move Hightower to a situational rusher role and Wilson as a coverage LB. So, as much as I'd like a devoted person to either position they already might have on team options
There are two major wildcards though:
Hernandez - With Ballard, Gronk, Fells, Hoom on the team could Hern be moved to WR as that #2 WR? If so there still brings durability concerns but he would be an upgrade over Lloyd. Additionally if you draft a Rogers, Wheaton, or Bailey then you have added solid starting caliber depth to what right now appears to be a weak point
Armstead - there is a lot of debate on what Armstead is. He's in a weird spot for weight where if he drops 10lbs could be a larger DE with some good speed to bookend Jones and spell Nink on passing downs or if he gains weight he could be in the mold of a J Green, Wright, Pryor type that can player inside or out and situationally used. Either way I don't see him as an immediate starter but someone who can fill the roles listed above keeping the starters fresh while minimizing drop off in production. Depending on how the Pats see him might affect if they decide to go DL early or towards the mid rounds