What Is Pats' Most Pressing Need in 2012?

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    What Is Pats' Most Pressing Need in 2012?

         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.         
       
     
  2. You have chosen to ignore posts from NOISE. Show NOISE's posts

    Re: What Is Pats' Most Pressing Need in 2012?

    Defense all the way tpat! If it wasn't for a bumb ankle for gronk the WR problem wouldn't have been that exposed as it was in the SB. I do agree though they need a WR but shouldn't be their biggest need. I'm thinking they do tag WELKER then do sign Wayne for a two yr deal. Then draft a WR in draft - 2 nd rd I'm thinking. The other guys in free agency Want too much money so they most likely aren't coming here. ESP when gronk- Hernandez contracts expire in 2013.
     
  3. You have chosen to ignore posts from Wizardsjag. Show Wizardsjag's posts

    Re: What Is Pats' Most Pressing Need in 2012?

    I'm going to agree with NOISE. If Gronk is 100% in the Super Bowl, we are probably the champs.

    We need to address each level of the defense in some way. DE, OLB, CB or S. Hopefully through the draft and/or free agency we can address 2 of these positions. On offense getting that WR that makes opposing defenses worry about the outside/deep and improving at center will be my next two spots.
     
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    My hopes are that the Pats get busy in FA.  To me, they need more than just the draft with the holes they have.
     
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    Re: What Is Pats' Most Pressing Need in 2012?

    In response to "Re: What Is Pats' Most Pressing Need in 2012?": [QUOTE]Defense Wins Championships. This team has to start getting the 3 and outs. Stop relying on Tom Brady. The Bend dont Break Defense does not work. (Not in the long haul) Need Playmakers on Defense. Posted by bobbysu[/QUOTE] Bingo! We got bingo!
     
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    Re: What Is Pats' Most Pressing Need in 2012?

    In response to "Re: What Is Pats' Most Pressing Need in 2012?": [QUOTE]I'm going to agree with NOISE. If Gronk is 100% in the Super Bowl, we are probably the champs. We need to address each level of the defense in some way. DE, OLB, CB or S. Hopefully through the draft and/or free agency we can address 2 of these positions. On offense getting that WR that makes opposing defenses worry about the outside/deep and improving at center will be my next two spots. Posted by Wizardsjag[/QUOTE] Thanks wiz! Yeah, their defense needs to be their most pressing need this year. Whether. Thru FA or draft - they can figure that out. I still think though they'll tweak offense though here & there. I feel they have a lot of respect for Wayne and at the end of the day, I just think he'll make the most sense money wise for pats.
     
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    Re: What Is Pats' Most Pressing Need in 2012?

    1) More yes-men scouting personnel for GM Belichick.
     
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    Re: What Is Pats' Most Pressing Need in 2012?

    for the most part, agree, just not WR at being the number 1 need. In fact, I don't think that the needs for 2012 are any different since 2005/2006.

    1)CB/S
    2)DE/OLB
    3)OL/TE/RB - these parts work together to improve both the running game and protect Brady.
    4)WR

    Number 1 and 2 work closely together - so, hopefully the Patriots can try to solve both areas through free agency and drafting.

    Instinctively, choosing WR as the #1 read may appear to be the most important need because of Welker and no deep threat. And, while this approach is okay when we want to beat average or poorer teams - it's NOT what we need to beat those few teams that have a good pass rush and can cover, and who have a decent running game.

     
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    Re: What Is Pats' Most Pressing Need in 2012?

    Does anyone realistically believe that with a healthy Gronk and resigning Welker the Pats passing offense will be less than top ten? Now contrast that with Faulk (albeit way past his prime) retiring and BJGE signing elsewhere; could be a problem for the running game; Ridley fumbles and Vereen is inexperienced. I am not saying WR is more important than RB just that receiving game has more known quantities than the RB position right now. The WR problem could easily be sorted out in free agency(Lloyd). RB in either FA or draft (late 2nd or 3rd)

    Agree on the OL Tex, I see Connolly as depth more than a starter and if Light and Waters retire those are some big shoes to fill (puts Vollmer, Cannon and Solder in the mix) and we could still use a C/G type.

    With you on DL. Fletcher Cox seems to be on the radar for the Pats. I think players like Coples and Brockers will be out of reach with where the picks are. Would like to get Upshaw, but that could be an expensive trade up.Akso costly signing Mario Williams.

    OLB/DE could be taken in the 1st and is a definite need. Funny thing is I would be happy with Hightower (high football IQ and great leadership); the issue is does Mayo become OLB or Weakside or what ? How would drafting Hightower affect the Pats D schematically ? Could easily go before #27.

    Safety- I see this as 2nd round material. Barron will be gone (injury or not) before #27 Smith or Iloka could be there in the 2nd. Or the Pats could try to sign Griffin.

    Texpat. We mostly agree. The only difference is that I believe signing Welker means the WR position is only a depth problem. Plenty of FA and draftees at WR. The could lose their starting RB and (in the past) their best 3rd down back. Woody could be and already is some ways the Pats 3rd down back. Hopefully Ridley can take the carries that Law Firm got.
     
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    Re: What Is Pats' Most Pressing Need in 2012?

    In spite of the lack of a deep WR threat, the offense seemed to do fine.  Shore up the defense to keep the offense on the field more often can cure a lot of ills!!
     
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    Re: What Is Pats' Most Pressing Need in 2012?

    In Response to Re: What Is Pats' Most Pressing Need in 2012?:
    [QUOTE]Defense all the way tpat! If it wasn't for a bumb ankle for gronk the WR problem wouldn't have been that exposed as it was in the SB. I do agree though they need a WR but shouldn't be their biggest need. I'm thinking they do tag WELKER then do sign Wayne for a two yr deal. Then draft a WR in draft - 2 nd rd I'm thinking. The other guys in free agency Want too much money so they most likely aren't coming here. ESP when gronk- Hernandez contracts expire in 2013.
    Posted by NOISE[/QUOTE]

         What happened last year is not a guarantee of what will happen this year. The Pats are having trouble beating the good teams. In those games, their offense has been stymied by playing the 8 in the box...like the Steelers, Ravens, and Giants did, this year. Sorry...but the Patriots cannot go into 2012 with the same woefully weak WR corp, and seriously contend for a championship.
     
         True...the "D" needs work...and more talent. But, a rash of injuries really hurt the unit. When the starters returned toward the end of the season, the "D" got better.  
     
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    Re: What Is Pats' Most Pressing Need in 2012?

    Address the D first with the draft. Sign Moss for WR. Fill other blanks as FAs are available at good value.
     
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    Re: What Is Pats' Most Pressing Need in 2012?

    In Response to Re: What Is Pats' Most Pressing Need in 2012?:
    [QUOTE]Address the D first with the draft. Sign Moss for WR. Fill other blanks as FAs are available at good value.
    Posted by BabeParilli[/QUOTE]

         So...you want to repeat the mistakes made over the past few years, by counting on a 35 year old Randy Moss...when counting on a 33 year old Moss already hasn't worked?
     
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    Re: What Is Pats' Most Pressing Need in 2012?

    1.Draft or sign a stud DT to play next to VW. VW has put in some serious work and has been extremely durable but if he were to go down for a length of time our defense really would be horrible. With 2 guys to command a double team we would open up pass rushing lanes for the guys on the edges.

    2.Draft or sign a stud safety. We need a "QB" of the secondary to keep the squad in line and make sure guys are in the right position. A Rodney Harrison type sherrif roaming the secondary and laying the wood.

    3.Trade a draft pick for a B-A quality running back that can take pressure off of Brady and give us 2 dimensions to our offense that has struggled heavily in every post season game since 2006(barring the dismantling of Denver a few weeks ago and a terrible Jaguars team in 07)) If we let Benny walk we cannot depend on 2 2nd year guys with little to no experience.

    4.Draft or sign a DE/OLB type who can take advantage of the beef on the D-line, we need a size and a good wingspan ala Mcginest as well. Get his hands in passing lanes and supports the run.


     
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    Re: What Is Pats' Most Pressing Need in 2012?



    All of the above . . . but I'd go with defense first.  Any and all positions except maybe ILB and NT are needed, so there's no use prioritizing--just take the best available at CB, S, 4-3 OLB, 3-4 OLB, 4-3 DE, 3-4 DE or  (though maybe less of a need) 4-3 DT.  
     
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    Re: What Is Pats' Most Pressing Need in 2012?

    In Response to Re: What Is Pats' Most Pressing Need in 2012?:
    [QUOTE]In Response to Re: What Is Pats' Most Pressing Need in 2012? :      So...you want to repeat the mistakes made over the past few years, by counting on a 35 year old Randy Moss...when counting on a 33 year old Moss already hasn't worked?
    Posted by TexasPat[/QUOTE]

    How did counting on a 33 yo Moss not work? He had 3 TDs in 3 starts. He got traded. He didn't let the team down on the field. It was an incomplete.

    I'm not saying we shouldn't take a shot at some WR if a good prospect drops in the draft or a great deal comes our way in FA. But Moss with his head on straight, a willingness to play for cheap with incentives, and an escape clause is a deal only a fool wouldn't at least give a try.
     
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    Re: What Is Pats' Most Pressing Need in 2012?

    Spy cams.
     
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    Re: What Is Pats' Most Pressing Need in 2012?

    Number one biggest need...pass rush!

    While I agree they need a deep threat WR, they simply cannot expect to beat good teams when their QB has all day to throw. Everyone is talking about how awful the secondary is, but a good pass rush would make them look a lot better. Another big guy in the middle next to Vince would be nice, as well. Personally, I'd love to see them be agressive and go after Williams. But however they go, they need to address this. Once you get the pressure the whole defense improves. I also agree with BP. If Moss can still run and catch, why not sign him for an incentive laden one year deal? Then maybe draft a WR and try to develop him. If Moss can't go there's always guys like Lloyd. But as we've seen all too often lately, without a defense that can harrass the opposing QB, they will struggle in the postseason. Hopefully they address the OL in the draft, but the D has to be the first "fix".
     
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    Re: What Is Pats' Most Pressing Need in 2012?

    Drafting a WR should be out.  There are enough WRs in FA to fill that void. 

    The defensive lineman are suppose to be very atheletic in this draft.  Looks pretty deep so the Pats should be able to get something here. 

    OLB is going to be tough to fill though.   There's not much in FA and the guys in the draft appear to be on the short side on height and weight.  Drafting a DE to fill this?

    DBs can be found in FA and in the draft this year.
     
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    Re: What Is Pats' Most Pressing Need in 2012?

    You have to figure that only one of the first two pics will be used this year.  BB will never use both first rounders.  So my vote will be for a stud in the front 7 with that pick.  I think they will go after a WR and a safety in the FA period before the draft.  I do not see a DL or OLB in the FA market worthy of the money they will want.  BJGE will resign.  He is not going to get big money elsewhere.  So running back will be filled from within.  I still think that Chad will be here for camp next year.  He will have the off season to finish his training and get up to speed with the offense.  He is an improvement over Branch.  I see Branch back as a 4th option.  He is not reliable enough to be a number 1 or 2 anymore.  I would love to see Wallace even if it cost them a number one pick.  I doubt it will happen but would be a nice addition.  I think a WR/ kick returner will be drafted in the mid rounds to improve the special teams. 
     
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    Re: What Is Pats' Most Pressing Need in 2012?

    Belichick has used two first rounders before but it's been awhile.  2004?, 2005? draft so be careful on this.  The last two years I thought BB was going to trade that 2nd first rounder because the same talent could be found in the 2nd round.  I'm not so sure it's true this year.  We'll get a better picture after the combine.  Another event that could interfere is FA but I don't see that happening.

     
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    Re: What Is Pats' Most Pressing Need in 2012?

    In Response to Re: What Is Pats' Most Pressing Need in 2012?:
    [QUOTE]In Response to Re: What Is Pats' Most Pressing Need in 2012? :      What happened last year is not a guarantee of what will happen this year. The Pats are having trouble beating the good teams. In those games, their offense has been stymied by playing the 8 in the box...like the Steelers, Ravens, and Giants did, this year. Sorry...but the Patriots cannot go into 2012 with the same woefully weak WR corp, and seriously contend for a championship.        True...the "D" needs work...and more talent. But, a rash of injuries really hurt the unit. When the starters returned toward the end of the season, the "D" got better.  
    Posted by TexasPat[/QUOTE]

    I do agree with a lot of what you said TPat! no doubt.  I would love them see them land a top notch WR - I just see them trying to patch work this position (unfortunately) again.  I hope I'm wrong and they Re-Sign Welker for 3 years and Land a guy like Vincent Jackson!  I'd be excited.
    However, we have noticed the best Defenses give brady and Co. problems in playoffs plus SB's.  No matter how good our O is.  I just think the Pats Most Pressing Needs are on the Defensive side....that's all I'm trying to say.
     
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    Re: What Is Pats' Most Pressing Need in 2012?

    In Response to Re: What Is Pats' Most Pressing Need in 2012?:
    [QUOTE]In Response to Re: What Is Pats' Most Pressing Need in 2012? : How did counting on a 33 yo Moss not work? He had 3 TDs in 3 starts. He got traded. He didn't let the team down on the field. It was an incomplete. I'm not saying we shouldn't take a shot at some WR if a good prospect drops in the draft or a great deal comes our way in FA. But Moss with his head on straight, a willingness to play for cheap with incentives, and an escape clause is a deal only a fool wouldn't at least give a try.
    Posted by BabeParilli[/QUOTE]

         Three TDs in 3 games. FANTASTIC!! If that's the case, why did BB get rid of him??

         Only a fool would continue to repeat the same mistake of relying on old WRs, who are past their prime. 
     
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    Re: What Is Pats' Most Pressing Need in 2012?

    In Response to Re: What Is Pats' Most Pressing Need in 2012?:
    [QUOTE]In Response to Re: What Is Pats' Most Pressing Need in 2012? : I do agree with a lot of what you said TPat! no doubt.  I would love them see them land a top notch WR - I just see them trying to patch work this position (unfortunately) again.  I hope I'm wrong and they Re-Sign Welker for 3 years and Land a guy like Vincent Jackson!  I'd be excited. However, we have noticed the best Defenses give brady and Co. problems in playoffs plus SB's.  No matter how good our O is.  I just think the Pats Most Pressing Needs are on the Defensive side....that's all I'm trying to say.
    Posted by NOISE[/QUOTE]

         I understand what you're saying, and agree that the "D" needs more talent. But, the mess at WR cannot be ignored, or "patched" with relics. The offense can't go on making a living on dinking and dunking...and on the TEs only. A deep threat WR is needed to force defenses to play honest. This will free up the running game, and will make it much easier for Brady to complete those bread and butter short passes.
     
     

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