Patriots Current Depth Chart

Here's an update:

Offense:

Quarterback - Tom Brady; Brian Hoyer*; Ryan Mallett; Mike Hartline

Running Back - Stevan Ridley; Danny Woodhead; Shane Vereen; Lousaka Polite; Eric Kettani

Wide Receiver - Wes Welker*; Brandon Lloyd; Tiquan Underwood; Julian Edelman; Chad Ochocinco; Anthony Gonzalez; Matthew Slater; Britt Davis

Tight End: Rob Gronkowski; Aaron Hernandez

Offensive Tackle: Matt Light; Nate Solder; Sebastian Vollmer; Marcus Cannon; Matt Kopa; Kyle Hix

Offensive Guard: Logan Mankins; Brian Waters; Ryan Wendell; Donald Thomas

Offensive Center: Dan Connolly; Nick McDonald

Defense:

Defensive End - Brandon Deaderick; Jonathan Fanene;

Defensive Tackle - Vince Wilfork; Kyle Love*; Myron Pryor; Ron Brace; Marcus Harrison

Outside Linebacker - Rob Ninkovich; Trevor Scott; Markell Carter; Jermaine Cunningham; Alex Silvestro; Aaron Lavarias

Inside Linebacker - Jerod Mayo; Brandon Spikes; Dane Fletcher; Tracy White; Niko Koutouvides; Mike Rivera; Jeff Tarpinian

Cornerback - Devin McCourty; Ras-I Dowling; Kyle Arrington; Sterling Moore

Safety - Pat Chung; Steve Gregory; Josh Barrett; Sergio Brown; Ross Ventrone; Malcolm Williams

Special Teams:

K: Stephen Gostkowski

P: Zoltan Mesko

LS: Danny Aiken

Stars represent a player still negotiating their contract, but are under the Patriots control.

Analysis after the jump

Just looking at the current roster, there are definite needs on defense: defensive end, outside linebacker, and defensive back.

The Patriots could shore up the defense end position in the draft, as well as by bringing back veteran Gerard Warren for another one year deal. He proved himself valuable and can still contribute to the rotation. Perhaps even Ron Brace can step up and fight for his roster spot. However, I think it's most likely that the next defensive end on the roster will be a draft pick, or a free agent who is cut as teams whittle down their rosters closer to the season.

Outside linebacker is a hole as the Patriots negotiate to bring back Mark Anderson and, when healthy, Andre Carter. Both fit the team extremely well and if the Patriots bring back both players, the team will be set at the position. However, I wouldn't be surprised if the Patriots spent a draft pick on a top outside linebacker prospect. Last year, the team wanted Aldon Smith, but he went too early in the draft. Look for them to address the position for the long term.

Defensive back is open as the team looks for more depth. They need top-tier help at the safety spot, while they could benefit by adding a depth cornerback. The secondary is good for at least two long term injuries to starters over the course of the season and I believe the team will address the safety spot in the draft as that's the more important need of the two. Expect James Ihedigbo to return to the team as well.

There are definitely fewer needs on offense as the coaching staff is high on Ryan Wendell and Nick McDonald on the offensive line, and as the team continues to add weapons for Tom Brady. Don't be surprised if the Patriots try to find their #3 tight end over the next couple of months- they've realized that playing with two tight ends (one of the most important positions in the Patriots offense) is a very big risk they can't afford to take. Also, look for the Patriots to continue to add talent to the wide receiver position (e.g: Deion Branch, Draft Pick) as Brady has no real rapport with any receiver outside of Welker (yet). In addition, while the Patriots would be fine moving forward with Ridley, Woodhead, and Vereen, I wouldn't be surprised to see BenJarvus Green-Ellis back in the fold.

Where do you think the Patriots need to keep working?

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