In the last half dozen years, the Patriots have invested more top draft picks into 'fixing up' their Secondary than any other area on the team, it seems year after year a 1st or 2nd round selection ( sometimes more than one) is used on a DB of some sort.
Has this been the proper way to try and address their progressively worsening Pass Defense, or has the emphasis on the Secondary been off target?
Since rules 'emphasis' and player safety priorities have been coming to the forefront since the 2006 season, as well as the continued addition of more and more 6'5 receivers coming into the NFL and making an impact, the ability of Secondary players to 'do their jobs' and effectively cover WRs and TEs has become significantly more difficult, no matter how talented they are.
It is my contention that the Patriots have been slow to adjust to the changing rules 'emphasis' and the increasing size and abilities of receivers throughout the NFL properly, by reviewing the drafts of the past few years, one can see the Patriots attempted to address this concern with DBs rather than with players who could pressure the QB:
2007 - enter into the draft with two 1sts and two 3rds
1st round selection Brandon Meriweather
2008 - lost their second 1st round pick
2nd round selection Terrence Wheatley
Selected Shawn Crable in the 3rd round
2009 - traded down in the draft to collect additional picks
Passed on Clay Mathews (26th pick) - Conner Barwin (46th pick)
2nd round selections Patrick Chung and Darius Butler
2010 - traded down in the draft to collect additional picks (1st and three 2nd round picks)
1st round selection Devon McCourty
Selected Jermaine Cunningham mid 2nd round
2011 - enter into the draft with two 1st and two 2nd round picks
2nd round selection (33rd player selected) Ras Dowling
Have the Patriots failed to prioritize their needs at the DE and OLB positions properly as they lost players like Colvin and Seymour?
Have the Patriots put too much emphasis on players in the Secondary, while not investing enough either through FA or the Draft into their ability to get to the QB?