2014 NFL Offseason: New England Patriots

New England Patriots (Last Year: 12-4)

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2014 NFL Season Preview:

Veteran Additions:
DE Will Smith, OLB James Anderson, CB Darrelle Revis, CB Brandon Browner.
Early Draft Picks:
WR Brandon LaFell, DT Dominique Easley, QB Jimmy Garoppolo, C Bryan Stork, RB James White, OT Cameron Fleming, G Jon Halapio. Patriots Rookie Forecast
Offseason Losses:
RB LeGarrette Blount, NT Isaac Sopoaga, ILB Brandon Spikes, ILB Dane Fletcher, CB Aqib Talib, S Steve Gregory, S Adrian Wilson.

2014 New England Patriots Offense:
A recent article that was published on another Web site sparked some controversy on social media. It focused on Tom Brady, and the premise was that Brady is no longer a top-five quarterback. Based on how he performed in 2013, it's difficult to argue with that opinion.

Brady threw for 4,343 yards, 25 touchdowns and only 11 interceptions in 2013. However, he maintained a poor YPA of 6.9 and a near-career-low completion percentage of 60.5. Granted, he had issues with his receiving corps and tight ends, but Brady just turned 36. He hasn't been nearly as clutch as he was earlier in his career, and it's fair to blame his off-the-field lifestyle for distracting him. Could he rebound with a strong 2014 campaign and lead New England to its fourth Super Bowl? Absolutely. But Brady will need his supporting cast to perform better than it did this past season.

For that to happen, Rob Gronkowski needs to stay healthy. Unfortunately for the Patriots, that's a long shot. Gronkowski has incurred numerous injuries throughout his brief career, so that could lead him to getting banged up even more. He tore his ACL and MCL in the middle of this past season, and while he seems to be on track to play in Week 1, he probably won't be 100 percent. It would be nice if New England had a second tight end like Aaron Hernandez, or someone close to that caliber, but there is no such player on the roster.

Meanwhile, Brady's receiving corps proved to be a huge disappointment in 2013. The Patriots let Wes Welker walk, but they were fine with that because they expected former Ram Danny Amendola to come in and be a solid replacement, or perhaps even an upgrade. Amendola didn't come to close to living up to expectations, hauling in just 54 receptions. In-house option Julian Edelman was actually the one who slid into Welker's spot; he registered 105 receptions for 1,056 yards and six scores in 2013, shattering his career-highs of 37, 359 and three. He'll continue to be a top option for Brady, as will second-year Aaron Dobson, who flashed prior to suffering an injury in the middle of the season. Dobson posted a 5-130-2 line against the Steelers, but was knocked out with a stress fracture in his foot soon after that. He and Brady were working out together prior to OTAs, so perhaps that'll lead to improved production.

A major reason why Brady had relatively poor numbers is because the offensive line couldn't protect him. Brady took 40 sacks, the most he's endured since his first year as a starter. The interior was the worst part of the front, as center Ryan Wendell and right guard Dan Connolly were atrocious. The usually reliable left guard Logan Mankins also had a down year, but the Patriots were expected to find upgrades for one of Wendell or Connolly this offseason. That, however, never happened. New England spent mid-round choices on center Bryan Stork and Jon Halapio to perhaps eventually start at center and guard, respectively, but it's unlikely that either will be able to play right away.

Brady is at least protected well from edge rushers. Save for a couple of poor outings, Nate Solder was solid at left tackle in 2013. He'll probably get better, given that he's entering just his fourth year. Meanwhile, having Sebastian Vollmer back at right tackle will help. Vollmer was on track to have a terrific campaign until he broke his leg in late October.

While the Patriots didn't add anyone on offense, they did manage to lose a key player. The running game was mediocre at best until LeGarrette Blount stepped in and provided a huge upgrade over the fumble-prone Stevan Ridley. However, the Patriots lowballed Blount, prompting him to abandon his starting gig and take more money to be a backup in Pittsburgh. This was a stupid decision on his part, but the result is that New England will once again have to pray that Ridley doesn't lose the football in a key moment. Meanwhile, Shane Vereen will continue to serve as a potent, pass-catching weapon leaking out of the backfield.

2014 New England Patriots Defense:
While the Patriots barely touched their offense, they acquired three key players on defense who will have a big impact. Their stop unit permitted 21.4 points per game this past season, so that number figures to be even lower in 2014.

The big name New England landed was Darrelle Revis. The Buccaneers cut Revis in March, and the Patriots quickly pounced on him, signing him to a 1-year deal worth $12 million. Revis, whose birthday is actually today (July 14), is still at the top of his game. He struggled a bit in 2013 because Tampa foolishly was using him in the incorrect system, but the team rectified that, allowing Revis to perform on a much higher level during the second half of the season. There's no reason to think Revis will regress at any point during the next few years, so he'll be able to completely erase one side of the field.

Opposing offenses will have to throw to the other side, where Brandon Browner will lurk following his four-game suspension. Browner, the second key acquisition, is a talented, big corner (6-4, 221) capable of shutting down No. 2 receivers. In the meantime, Logan Ryan, a third-round selection from 2013, will start there, while the skilled Kyle Arrington occupies the slot. Ryan performed well as a rookie, so he should only get better. It wouldn't be a huge surprise if he kept the No. 2 corner job.

What the Patriots could have used was an upgrade at strong safety, which is currently occupied by 2013 third-rounder Duron Harmon, who was a pretty mediocre part-time player this past season. Devin McCourty, a stud defensive back, will start next to Harmon, and he'll make it even more difficult for the opposition to throw on New England.

A ferocious pass rush would make the Patriots' secondary even more formidable, and that's where the third big acquisition comes in. That would be Dominique Easley, whom New England selected in the first round. Easley may have been a top-10 pick had he not suffered a knee injury during this past collegiate season. He may not be 100 percent this upcoming year, but when he is, he should be able to emerge as a disruptive, interior pass rusher. Tommy Kelly will probably start ahead of Easley, but the Patriots will be hoping that the Florida product progresses quickly. Either Kelly or Easley will play next to Vince Wilfork, who may struggle coming off a torn Achilles.

New England has some solid pass rushers on the exterior. Chandler Jones, chosen in the first round back in 2012, led the team with 11.5 sacks in 2013, which was way up from the five he accumulated as a rookie. The only way his figure doesn't rise again is if the opposition pays way more attention to him, which will only open things up for Rob Ninkovich, who has a combined 16 sacks in the past two seasons.

As for the linebacking corps, the group was solid in 2013, but will almost certainly be better this season because Jamie Collins will be taking on a full-time role. Chosen in the second round last April, Collins didn't play very much until late in the season, when he exploded. He was absolutely dominant in the playoff victory over the Colts. That's likely a sign of things to come. Collins will start with 2012 first-rounder Dont'a Hightower and Jerod Mayo, who tore his chest in mid-October and missed the final 10 games as a consequence. Having him back on the field will be huge.

2014 New England Patriots Schedule and Intangibles:
Since 2003, the Patriots are 85-15 at home. They were a perfect 9-0 as hosts last year, which includes a playoff victory over the Colts.

Stephen Gostkowski is one of the better kickers in the NFL. He went 38-of-41 last year, hitting 5-of-6 from 50-plus.

Zoltan Mesko ranked in the middle of the pack in terms of net punting average and boots placed inside the 20.

No touchdowns were scored for or against the Patriots on special teams, but they at least outgained their opponents by three yards on both punts and kickoffs.

New England has a very easy schedule, given that it has to play the Bills, Jets and Dolphins twice each. It also has matchups against the Raiders, Chiefs, Vikings and Lions. There are a couple of tough outings on the calendar, but the Patriots have to feel good about their slate.

2014 New England Patriots Rookies:
Go here for the Patriots Rookie Forecast, a page with predictions like which rookie will bust and which rookie will become a solid starter.

2014 New England Patriots Positional Rankings (1-5 stars):
Offensive Line
Running Backs
Defensive Line
Special Teams

2014 New England Patriots Analysis: The Patriots were just one win away from the Super Bowl last year. They didn't really lose anyone, save for LeGarrette Blount and Aqib Talib, and the latter was upgraded. They also added a couple more defensive pieces. New England will be one of the favorites to win the whole thing this year, but what it comes down to is whether or not Tom Brady will choke in the playoffs once again.

Projection: 13-3 (1st in AFC East)

2014 Fantasy Football Rankings

More 2014 NFL Season Previews

Follow @walterfootball for updates.


NFL Draft Team Grade: D Grade

Goals Entering the 2014 NFL Draft: The Patriots were able to upgrade their roster in free agency, but they have a few things they must take care of in the draft. They need to add at least one defensive tackle, find a new center, obtain a speedy linebacker and acquire a replacement for Aaron Hernandez. Bill Belichick may also want to add another running back because he doesn't trust anyone on his roster to carry the load.

2014 NFL Draft Accomplishments: The Patriots have to win now. I think we can all agree on that. Tom Brady is 37 in August, so he has limited time remaining in his career. The Broncos have recognized this with their own aging signal-caller, so they've done everything in their power to give themselves the best shot at a Super Bowl. The Patriots appeared to be mirroring their actions in free agency, but they went a completely different route during the draft.

Taking Jimmy Garoppolo in the second round was the worst decision in the 2014 NFL Draft. I'm not saying Garoppolo will bust, but how is he going to help Brady win another Super Bowl? Using a major resource on him could cost the Patriots the Super Bowl. What if they need a key depth player or a potential starter that they could have acquired at that juncture? It was an awful decision.

Furthermore, how are New England's other picks supposed to help the team win now? Dominique Easley could be dominant in the future, but he won't be 100 percent in 2014 because he's coming off his second torn ACL. Bryan Stork, meanwhile, may not be able to win the starting job. He was a reach in the third round. James White was taken too early as well.

The Patriots had one goal in the 2014 NFL Draft, and that was to acquire a couple of pieces to help them claim another Lombardi Trophy. They failed to do so, and that's why they are getting the worst grade of any team in this class.

NFL Draft Individual Grades:

29. Dominique Easley, DT, Florida: B Grade
This pick surprises me because Dominique Easley doesn't fit Bill Belichick's profile. That's not to say Easley isn't a good player. He's very talented, and would be a top-15 choice had he not sustained torn ACLs. But the injuries have to be a factor, so this is a big high-risk, high-reward selection. Easley could be a force for the Patriots, but he could also frustrate the coaching staff by always being banged up.

62. Jimmy Garoppolo, QB, Eastern Illinois: MILLEN Grade
Finally, a Millen grade! Here's why: The Patriots are in an arms race with the Broncos to reach the Super Bowl. Both teams have done many things this offseason to put themselves in a "win-now" mode. This pick does not help New England win now. Rather than give Tom Brady a better weapon, or improved blocking, or someone to help on defense, Bill Belichick pissed off Brady by making this choice. With the Patriots and Broncos being so close, this second-round pick could end up making the difference.

I have nothing against Garoppolo. He could evolve into a decent starter, though I doubt it. I just absolutely hate this fit.

105. Bryan Stork, C, Florida State: C+ Grade
This is a bit early for Bryan Stork, who was projected as a fifth-rounder by some teams we've spoken to, thanks to some medical concerns. It shouldn't be a surprise the Patriots took a center though, as the position was a huge hole on the roster last year.

130. James White, RB, Wisconsin: C Grade
Bill Belichick doesn't have a running back he can trust, but I'm not sure if James White will be that guy. White is a reach, as he was projected to go a bit later than this. I don't hate this pick, but New England could have done better.

140. Cameron Fleming, OT, Stanford: A Grade
Some thought Cameron Fleming would go as high as the second round, so this is terrific value for the Patriots. Fleming doesn't fill a huge need for the Patriots, but they did have to get some tackle depth.

179. Jon Halapio, G, Florida: A- Grade
Bill Belichick is taking a Florida player? Wow. Anyway, this is a very good pick. Jon Halapio could have been chosen in the fourth round without any complaints, so New England is getting decent value. Guard depth was viewed as a big need.

198. Zach Moore, DE, Concordia: B Grade
Zach Moore is the first player ever chosen at his school, and it's a good pick. The Patriots wanted defensive line depth, and there was some buzz about Zach Moore as a late-round prospect.

206. Jemea Thomas, CB/S, Georgia Tech: A- Grade
Secondary depth was needed, and the Patriots hadn't added a defensive back yet. Jemea Thomas, who could've been chosen earlier, can play both cornerback and safety, so I like this pick.

244. Jeremy Gallon, WR, Michigan: B- Grade
Jeremy Gallon was viewed as being on the cusp of draftability, so it's no surprise to see him go in the seventh round. I'm sure he'll have a place on New England's special teams.

Season Summary:
The Patriots were obviously disappointed with losing in the AFC Championship, but if you were to tell them back in June that Aaron Hernandez would be arrested for murder charges, and that Rob Gronkowski and many other key players would suffer injuries for an extended period of time, I think they would've taken that result.

Offseason Moves:
  • Bears sign S Adrian Wilson
  • Patriots sign OLB James Anderson
  • Patriots sign DE Will Smith
  • Patriots cut S Adrian Wilson
  • Patriots re-sign C Ryan Wendell
  • Steelers sign RB LeGarrette Blount
  • Patriots sign WR Brandon LaFell
  • Patriots re-sign WR Julian Edelman
  • Patriots sign CB Brandon Browner
  • Buccaneers sign ILB Dane Fletcher
  • Patriots sign CB Darrelle Revis
  • Patriots cut NT Isaac Sopoaga
  • Broncos sign CB Aqib Talib
  • Patriots re-sign TE Michael Hoomanawanui
  • Patriots cut S Steve Gregory

    Team Needs:
    1. Center: Tom Brady was constantly under pressure before the Patriots established their strong rushing attack in the second half of the season. The primary culprit for the poor pass protection was center Ryan Wendell, who will see his contract expire in March. Re-signed Ryan Wendell

    2. Tight End: Rob Gronkowski can't seem to stay healthy, but even if he returns to the field and is able to play most of the 2014 season, the Patriots will need to fill the void left by Aaron Hernandez. Perhaps this can be fixed with an early selection in the 2014 NFL Draft.

    3. Nose Tackle: It's going to be difficult for a big man like Vince Wilfork to completely come back from a torn Achilles at the age of 32. The Patriots should look into spending a Round 2-4 pick on a potential successor.

    4. Right Guard: Dan Connolly was a big disappointment for the Patriots in 2013. Bill Belichick may want to find an upgrade.

    5. Two Wide Receivers: Danny Amendola has definitely not lived up to expectations. Julian Edelman has picked up the slack, and the young receivers have shown some flashes, but the Patriots are still hurting at wideout. A veteran could be brought in to help. Edelman also needs to be re-signed. Re-signed Julian Edelman; signed Brandon LaFell

    6. Cornerback Depth: Aqib Talib is slated to be a free agent. Alfonzo Dennard and Logan Ryan will be the starters if he leaves, but New England will need to get deeper at the position. Signed Darrelle Revis and Brandon Browner

    7. Safety Depth: Adrian Wilson, another 30-something Patriot coming off a torn Achilles, could be released this offseason. Depth will be needed at safety. Signed Patrick Chung

    8. Defensive End Depth: The Patriots could use another pass-rusher behind Chandler Jones and Rob Ninkovich. A mid-rounder should suffice. Signed Will Smith

    9. Running Back: LeGarrette Blount has been a revelation for the Patriots, but he also happens to be an impending free agent.

      Follow me @walterfootball for updates.

    2014 NFL Free Agent Signings:
    1. Darrelle Revis, CB, Buccaneers. Age: 29.
      Signed with Patriots (1 year, $12 million)

      The Buccaneers dumping Darrelle Revis after just one season is insane considering that they traded the No. 13 pick in the 2013 NFL Draft (Sheldon Richardson), as well as Round 3-4 selection this May for him. Revis had a rocky start to his 2013 season because Tampa stupidly used him in a zone, but he was great down the stretch. Turning 29 in July, Revis still has four strong seasons remaining, making him the only five-star free agent this offseason.

    2. Brandon Browner, CB, Seahawks. Age: 30.
      Signed with Patriots (3 years, $17 million)

      Brandon Browner is more talented than 2.5 stars, but he'll miss four games with a suspension relating to violating the league's substance abuse policy. Another infraction could knock him out for an entire season.

    3. James Anderson, OLB, Bears. Age: 30.
      Signed with Patriots

      James Anderson covered well this past season, but was exposed against the run after Henry Melton was sidelined with an injury.

    4. Will Smith, DE, Saints. Age: 33.
      Signed with Patriots

      Will Smith was a decent run-defender but a declining pass-rusher in 2012; the last time he had more than 6.5 sacks was 2009. He looked to be a poor fit in Rob Ryan's 3-4 defense, but we never found out because he tore his ACL back in August. Smith, 33 in July, doesn't have much left in the tank and probably won't even be 100 percent, given that he's coming off his knee injury.

    5. Brandon LaFell, WR, Panthers. Age: 27. -- Signed with Patriots (3 years, $11 million)
    6. Patrick Chung, S, Eagles. Age: 27. -- Signed with Patriots

    New England Patriots Free Agents:

    Salary Cap: TBA.
    1. Aqib Talib, CB, Patriots. Age: 28.
      Signed with Broncos (6 years, $57 million)

      Aqib Talib is awesome when he's on, but he can have meltdowns when he's struggling, which is what happened against the Panthers in a Monday night loss. He's a legitimate No. 1 corner though, provided he stays out of trouble.

    2. Julian Edelman, WR, Patriots. Age: 28.
      Re-signed with Patriots

      Everyone assumed Danny Amendola would take over Wes Welker's role, but Julian Edelman stepped up instead. He caught 105 passes this past season. He's also an effective punt returner.

    3. LeGarrette Blount, RB, Patriots. Age: 27.
      Signed with Steelers (2 years)

      LeGarrette Blount has turned his career around in New England. Tampa Bay thoughtlessly discarded him, yet Blount was able to find a home with the Patriots. He averaged five yards per carry in 2013, though he still isn't any sort of factor in the passing game.

    4. Brandon Spikes, ILB, Patriots. Age: 26.
      Brandon Spikes saw a drop in snaps this year because of his deficiencies in coverage. He's still very stout in run support, however.

    5. Ryan Wendell, C, Patriots. Age: 28.
      Re-signed with Patriots (2 years)

      Ryan Wendell had an excellent 2012 campaign, so his regression is a total mystery. He was so bad this year that he nearly got Tom Brady killed in several games.

    6. Adrian Wilson, S, Patriots. Age: 34. -- Signed with Bears
    7. Steve Gregory, S, Patriots. Age: 31.
    8. Will Svitek, OT, Patriots. Age: 32.
    9. Michael Hoomanawanui, TE, Patriots. Age: 26. -- Re-signed with Patriots (2 years)
    10. Dane Fletcher, ILB, Patriots. Age: 27. -- Signed with Buccaneers (1 year, $2 million)
    11. Isaac Sopoaga, NT, Patriots. Age: 32.

    NFL Free Agent Tracker:
    QB | RB | FB | WR | TE | OT | G | C | DE | DT | OLB | ILB | CB | S | K/P | FA Grades | FA Rumors

    NFL Free Agents

    NFL Picks - Feb. 7

    2017 NFL Mock Draft - Feb. 5

    2016 NFL Mock Draft - Feb. 4

    2016 NBA Mock Draft - Feb. 2

    Fantasy Football Rankings - Jan. 15

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    logic (Anonymous Poster)
    6 month(s) 19 day(s) ago - hide
    Yo dude the patriots deserve five stars for the quarterback position. How in the world could you give them four. And that also means your are saying that quarterbacks like Russel Wilson and Andrew Luck are better than Tom Brady which makes absolute no sense. If Tom Brady had Seattle defense they would win the super bowl every year and Andrew Luck always looks terrible against New England.
    5    0 Reply
    Seahawkfan (Anonymous Poster)
    6 month(s) 19 day(s) ago - hide
    @logic  Undoubtedly Brady is a 5-star QB.  I was surprised too at the 4-star rating.  Maybe it's based on the combination on Garoppolo for 4 games and Brady for 12...
    0    0 Reply
    Me*** (Anonymous Poster)
    9 month(s) 11 day(s) ago - hide


    Basically, all the "graders" are grading according to their subjective preferences, since players are evaluated subjectively anyway. My only objection is that the "experts" should assume a little humility. No one knows, including the "experts" how things will pan out. That is why even the best of them (team draft experts) don't always get it right. The one thing that can be said about the better drafting teams is that they draft players that will fit their schemes and plays and not on what the so called "experts" evaluate.

    1    0 Reply
    patsfan. (Anonymous Poster)
    9 month(s) 11 day(s) ago - hide

    "Those two blemishes along with the long snapper can not be overlooked"

    Geneo Grissom could end up being a major contributor in the Pats defense, "experts" said the same thing about the Jamie Collins pick a few years ago.  As for the long snapper it is hilarious to read some of the comments from the "experts", they used a 5th round pick on a player who could have a long career as a special teamer.  Judging by the "experts" you would think it was a 1st round pick.  How many 5th rounders don't even make it out of training camp?

    1    1 Reply
    Me*** (Anonymous Poster)
    9 month(s) 12 day(s) ago - hide
    Based on history, I'd try to be a little more humble in my grading. Let's just look at last years grades, Bryan Stork C+ a starter and not bad at that, Jon Halapio A- now Denver practice squad.  Jemea Thomas A- traveling man 4 teams already for now with the Titans. Never mind the Millen grade, I don't want to go further backwards to add salt on wounds.
    1    0 Reply
    Dro (Anonymous Poster)
    9 month(s) 11 day(s) ago - hide


    An "A" for a late pick isn't wrong if the player doesn't pan out. At that stage, an "A" is either for getting a player who could have been, say, a fifth rounder (so there is some "making the roster" upside) or for getting someone with an especially good profile. Odds still are that the player won't stick, but even having any chance to stick or be more than just a hair useful is a score late.

    Remember, it's pointless to grade at this stage based on simply who the teams got, as we don't really know who these players are going to be. Grading, say Gregory to Dallas based on how good you think he'll be is stupid, as he could easily be an All Pro (A+++ grade) or a wash out (C grade). Walt grades the only way that's worthwhile right now: based on DRAFT VALUE. As in, getting guys who teams liked but who got squeezed out by other nice prospects (Brown was one, or Dupree another...most everyone liked them, but they fell due to the numbers game), or getting a guy who simply fell farther than he should.

    0    0 Reply
    Me*** (Anonymous Poster)
    9 month(s) 13 day(s) ago - hide
    I guess I imagined they picked Malcolm Brown or did I oversleep
    3    1 Reply
    Balcobomber25 (Anonymous Poster)
    9 month(s) 22 day(s) ago - hide

    "the team deflated footballs"  Walter do you have some inside knowledge that no one else does?  I haven't seen of shred of evidence that says one way or the other what happened.  Have some journalistic integrity!

    Now onto the team needs:

    Center - Bryan Stork was one of the best rookies last year, there is no need for a center. 

    DT - The team already has three starting DT's on the roster, Alan Branch, Dominique Easley and Sealver Siliga. Chris Jones and Joe Vellano are both solid backups.  They will probably add 1 DT in the middle rounds.

    WR - Gronk finished 10th in the league in receptions over 20 yards.  Edelman and Lafell were both sub 1000 yd WR's.  WR isn't an immediate concern.  Aaron Dobson is the wildcard for this team, he has the potential to be a really great WR if he can stay healthy. Danny Amandolla was huge for them in the playoffs and solidified his spot as the #4 WR to open the year.  Brandon Gibson could end up pushing him for that #4 spot.

    RB - The team drafted James White in the 4th round last year as insurance in case Vereen left.  They also added Gafney and Cadet, both with experience catching the ball.  To replace Ridley they have Jonas Gray who showed flashes of brilliance last year. They may add another body before camp starts but I would be shocked if it's anything higher than a 4th round pick.

    Actual team needs:

    CB - I have complete faith in Malcolm Butler being the next great CB in this league, and this has little to do with the INT that won the SB.  This has to do with watching him for a full year.  The kid has skills.  But I think they need someone to play opposite of him.  I love Logan Ryan and Kyle Arrington in the slot, and I have little faith in any of the free agent signings.  Alfonzo Dennard is a mystery man right now.  If Byron Jones, Marcus Peters or Jalen Collins is available at 32 the Pats take them.

    LB - Mayo can't be trusted to stay healthy.  Outside of Collins and Hightower (two of the best young LB's in the league) the depth is very very thin.  Skinner showed some promise last year and James Morris could be a contributor but they need to add some depth.  

    OL - The Pats have never drafted a true G in the early rounds under Belichick.  I look for them to add a tackle and convert him to guard like they did with Logan Mankins.  

    DE - I love the signing of Sheard but I worry about Chandler Jones.  When healthy he is a pro bowl caliber end, but he can't stay healthy.  Zach Moore is an intriguing prospect but I think he still needs another year to develop.  Ninck has been the best dlineman on this year the past 3 years but he is getting up there in age.  I see the Pats taking a DE in the mid rounds, perhaps someone with first round talent who falls due to injury/character concerns.   

    3    4 Reply
    Autumn Steinruck of rochester, ny 14604 (Anonymous Poster)
    10 month(s) 4 day(s) ago - hide

    I would like to see this list upgraded. The patriots have 9 picks right? 

    I can see them using one pick to pick up a wide out maybe the sone of flipper anderson. But i would have them use the other picks on offensive line and defense.

    I'd say

    2 olinemen

    2 d backs

    1 Lb

    2 D line

    And a wr

    With the final pick i'd either take an oline or dline or the running back hunt 

    With blount, gray, bolden, lewis, white, graffney, and cadet i dont honestly think the pats need a RB. 

    Blount and gray are power backs

    White and cadet are recievers

    Bolden and from what I've read lewis and graffney can do it all.

    At TE Gronk ,chandler and wright should have tight end locked. Chandler has had garbage quarterbacks most of his career and now can show off.

    Fb/ h-back devlin should beat out hoomanawaui unless they keep both. 

    Edelman , amendola, lefall, are good flankers,  tyms, dobson and slater are the deep guys. Then the patriots have boyce who i wanna see 1 more try along with gibson and kearse. The pats need 1 deep speed guy to step up.

    On the deline michael Buchanan and Easley Are still around.  Can Easily replace vince? 

    Cant wait for the draft and udfa signings to end, my fiance is doing nothing but talking bout this and the blue jays wont become relevant in his life until July

    1    0 Reply
    MikeinMaine (Anonymous Poster)
    12 month(s) 3 day(s) ago - hide

    Very disappointed to see that a website that I respect jump onboard the Trash-the Patriots train in reference to the stupid and wrong "deflate-Gate" BS.  The way it was worded makes it seem as if the author is a Patriots' hater forced to deal with them because it's his job to do so.

    That said, the top needs for New England this offseason should be the guard position, Nose Tackle, and doing their best to resign their key free agents.

    Perhaps if drafting the best athlete available, there should be mention of a defensive end and maybe a stud linebacker if one falls to the Pats in the 3rd-4th round area.

    Don't forget, the Patriots won this championship with the youngest roster to ever win a title at just a tad over 25 years of age on average, which speaks to the masterful manner in which Belichick turns over the roster, exchanging aging veterans for rookie salary cap and other teams' unwanted baggage.

    15    1 Reply
    Dfresh (Anonymous Poster)
    11 month(s) 20 day(s) ago - hide
    @MikeinMaine : You're absolutely right....for a website I have a fair amount of respect for, for actually doing their homework in most cases...he certainly doesn't put much thought into the deflategate accusations that should more accurately be called FRAMEGATE by the league office. After all the evidence has surfaced...I'm interested to hear how the Colts and the Ravens colluded with the league office to frame the Patriots. I said it FROM DAY ONE that this was a frame job...it was either talk about the Patriots being cheaters for two weeks, or talk about what a terrible job Roger Goodell and the league has done for two weeks, with the trivialization and downplay of domestic violence towards women and children. Robert Kraft is NOT STUPID...and after he stood up and backed Goodell when no one else would....Goodell turned right around and @#$@ed him. I expect the COLTS to lose a first round pick over this....and everyone in the league office should be fired.
    7    1 Reply
    Pats fan (Anonymous Poster)
    12 month(s) 4 day(s) ago - hide

    @Walt: you were horrible this year. In all facets of this website. Your gambling picks were wrong, you reviewed every game with a bias based on your bad picks, and even your player analysis was subpar. 

    Deflagate is complete BS, and it looks like the Colts might have tampered with the one ball and created the story to cover their ineptitude. 

    The Patriots will likely cut or restructure Wilfork, Arrighton, Connelly, Ammendola and Mayo. They are keeping McCourty and Gostkowski. They are likely going to retain Revis, since he dictates the defensive schemes.  

    The Pats will likely draft a guard in rounds 2 to 4. They don't need 2, because Connelly/Wendell/Fleming will hold down the spots until they find their best lineup around week 4 or 5. Stork is the center; he played well if you watched. 

    The need for wide receiver is there, but Bill doesn't like drafting them early, and hasn't had success. My guess is a free-agent will be brought in, and they'll see if Dobson or Boyce can give them anything in year 3.

    They don't need DBs, so scratch cornerback and safety from the list.

    They do need a defensive lineman or two. They play an ameoba defence or hybrid, which means they won't be looking 3-4 or 4-3 exclusive, but rather someone that is scheme independent. Maybe Odrick, since he probably wants out of Miami. And a 1st round pick isn't out of the question. 

    RB isn't a need. Bill B. will fill Vereen's spot with White if Vereen signs elsewhere. The Pats have Blount and Boldin under contract. They'll fit the spot with a veteran min or a rookie. 

    They do need linebacker depth assuming Ayers and Mayo are out. 

    13    1 Reply
    PATSROOL (Anonymous Poster)
    1 years 0 month(s) ago - hide

    deflating footballs helped them win 45-7. LMAO

    DO YOU READ WHAT YOU WRITE?  Man, you just won't let it go.

    deflated footballs do not win games. You must be an Eaglets fan, still got a sore ass from 05.


    24    3 Reply
    Leopold Stotch (Anonymous Poster)
    1 years 0 month(s) ago - hide
    @PATSROOL all you need to know about Walt is that he has defended Penn State vehemently, defends the Redskins name, stated that Tim Tebow was a quality NFL QB and that Johnny Manziel should have been drafted higher. And then you look at the very purpose of this website- handicapping picks- and realize that he's not good at that either? This young lad has zero credibility left. 
    6    1 Reply
    Timbo Slice (Anonymous Poster)
    1 years 0 month(s) ago - hide
    Center is not "a concern" for the Patriots. Stork became a very capable NFL starter in a complex offense in year one.
    11    1 Reply
    Run-DMG (Anonymous Poster)
    1 years 6 month(s) ago - hide
    "He hasn't been nearly as clutch as he was earlier in his career, and it's fair to blame his off-the-field lifestyle for distracting him."

    You are a such a dumbass Walt. Never mind the fact he had a league-leading five come from behind victories last season. The only player that is on par with Brady in terms of work ethic is Peyton Manning.
    11    2 Reply
    Pats Fan (Anonymous Poster)
    1 years 7 month(s) ago - hide


    I almost never criticize you, but two things:

    1) Zoltan Mesko... Really. Do you watch football? He was cut last spring. Try Ryan Allen.  You make fun of bad football reporting, but that's a pretty bad gaff.

    2) Just because some young journalist wants to make a name for himself, doesn't mean he's right. Brady wasn't bad last year. He dealt with an injury/prison depleted receiving core, rookies were forced into action early, and the result was poor route running, botched assignments. A couple of metric based sites showed that when Gronk was in the lineup Brady was his normal self, and when targeting veteran players again his numbers were in line with his career averages. Actually, watching the game, you can see Brady's arm is in much better shape than Manning's (noodle arm).

    24    0 Reply
    tya1495 (Anonymous Poster)
    1 years 6 month(s) ago - hide

    it's funny how overrated Manning is. If you gave Brady, Brees or Rodgers the weapons Manning has they would set all the records also and would have lifted the trophy at the end of the year.

    6    1 Reply
    drjliquors (Anonymous Poster)
    1 years 7 month(s) ago - hide

    How does NE get a D?
    They had an A, two A-, two B's, one B-, one C+, one C and a millen that I disagree with completely. How is that a D?

    8    0 Reply
    tya1495 (Anonymous Poster)
    1 years 6 month(s) ago - hide
    seattle's grades were similar and he gave their draft an A overall
    2    0 Reply
    Tomj1134209 2 Posts (5 )
    1 years 7 month(s) ago - hide

    "The interior was the worst part of the front, as center Ryan Wendell and right guard Ryan Wendell were atrocious."

    No wonder why Wendell was atrocious, he was trying to play two positions!

    "Zoltan Mesko ranked in the middle of the pack in terms of net punting average and boots placed inside the 20."

    While that may be true, Ryan Allen was the Pats punter last season.

    4    0 Reply
    Joe (Anonymous Poster)
    1 years 9 month(s) ago - hide
    And I now thank Walt for having the Balls to go against the Pats
    1    13 Reply
    drjliquors (Anonymous Poster)
    1 years 7 month(s) ago - hide
    Walter gave the Pats a D last year also and NE had one of the top 4 drafts in the NFL.....take it from there.
    4    0 Reply
    dnsliquors (Anonymous Poster)
    1 years 7 month(s) ago - hide
    Fales has a weak arm and played poorly at the East-West game. Garapollo is the complete package. 6'2 3/4", mobile in the pocket, accurate, smart and played in an NFL pocket QB format. Jimmy could be a franchise QB proving BB is going nowhere when Brady retires because he was thinking strictly long term when he drafted him.
    1    0 Reply
    Brohamma 13 Posts (63 )
    1 years 9 month(s) ago - hide
    Garoppolo was to much value to pass on.  I feel quite certain that he was the quarterback that graded out on top of New England's scouting.  Don't forget it's not like the Pats didn't interview any of the other QB's that were available.  Watch BB's press'er where he talks about depth.. in particular the reference to Indy and Painter having to play for Manning.  His comments may make you reconsider the grade Walt.  Mallet will be moved to a team that suffers a QB injury during off season work-outs for more value than would've been had over the weekend.
    7    1 Reply
    paul (Anonymous Poster)
    1 years 8 month(s) ago - hide
    Its been reported that bortles was their #1 qb and would have taken him at 29 had he slipped
    0    0 Reply
    Avik (Anonymous Poster)
    1 years 9 month(s) ago - hide

    Thing is that most people forget a most important fact, none of the fans, media people (even the so called experts) do not have to be accountable for what they say or advise. Team scouts, GMs, personnel executives and coaches are accountable to the owners and their livelihoods depend on them being successful. I may read what all the media experts have to say about this and that but ultimately have to trust what the team professionals are doing.  Sure they make mistakes like everyone, but to be honest, BB and his teams have been quite successful for about 13 years, so with all the mistakes they made, they are still ahead in the crapshoot called the NFL draft. As for injury history, unless it is irreversible conditions, players like Easley may be injured again or not, exactly like any other player in the league. However, sometimes oft injured players show confidence and tenacity that elevate them above and beyond others. As for getting reinjured this is sheer bad luck. As for the Garopolo drafting, thinking ahead and getting someone who may sit for some years as a backup learning the ropes from the best, may turn out to be one of the best ever drafts bar drafting TB in the sixth.

    5    0 Reply
    Harold Ballsagna (Anonymous Poster)
    1 years 9 month(s) ago - hide
    I'm disappointing with this draft because I thought the Pats left a lot of value of the table.  Some great prospects such as Allen Robinson or Jace Amaro could've been theirs in the 2nd had they paid a small price to move up.  They could've held firm and drafted CJ Fiedorowicz or consensus #1 center, Marcus Martin (all of whom fill needs).  I thought Telvin Smith would've been an intriguing sub-package player, and he fell through the floor.  And then I see promising QB prospects like David Fales go late, and I wonder what is truly the difference between someone like him and Garoppolo, besides the 4 round gap in which they were picked.  I just thought the draft as a whole lacked value and didn't fill needs, which in and of itself is fine, but the prospects they took while eschewing those needs aren't exactly world burners.
    1    0 Reply
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