[Editor's Note: Welcome to Patriots Coffee Talk! This is going to be an experimental feature that will go up each weekday morning at 6:00 AM. Topics will have a wide range, but will bring up relevant Patriots issues and its goal will be to spark debate. So yap away! -Greg]
Heading into the 2011 NFL draft, most Patriots fans agree that the team's biggest two needs on the defensive side of the ball are at defensive end and outside linebacker.
At defensive end, the Patriots have a platoon that includes Ty Warren and Ron Brace as left ends, with Mike Wright and Brandon Deaderick at right end heading into next season. There are also a couple of young players such as Kade Weston, and there's also the possibility of sliding out Vince Wilfork to defensive end. Gerard Warren is headed for free agency. Still, there's no question the Patriots could use a player in the form of Richard Seymour at defensive end, something they have lacked over the past two seasons.
The outside linebacker position is also in a similar situation. The Patriots have a lot of solid players, but no real standouts. The Patriots will return their top players at the position, with Tully Banta-Cain, Jermaine Cunningham, Rob Ninkovich, and Eric Moore all returning next season. That being said, the Patriots don't have a guy that can consistently put fear in the eyes of opposing quarterbacks and generate pressure, so many people believe this is a big position of need.
The question being posed to you is this: If you could come out of the draft with a top player at just one of these two positions, which would it be, defensive end or outside linebacker? In other words, which position is the bigger need?