FanPost

Things to Debate: the Unknown at 10 positions



Things to debate about as we await for the off-season to progress it's way through our vacation time and towards the regular season.

1) Who's the starting Center?

I, being a habitual fan of underdogs, would like to see Ryan Wendell fight for this one. He showed some great flashes while filling in for an injured Dan Connolly, who was filling in for an injured Dan Koppen. This is probably the hardest position to project. If Koppen looks like he doesn't have it anymore(his 2010 season wasn't great) then it's Connolly or Wendell. I wouldn't blame the Pats if they wanted to see if they could do better than Connolly.

2) Who's the starting Running-Back?

I like Danny Woodhead, but he's a situational guy. I like Joseph Addai, but he wasn't brought in to start. I like Stevan Ridley, but the Pats drafted Shane Vereen ahead of him for a reason. Anecdotal evidence suggests Vereen has added some muscle ahead of his sophmore season and while it's too early to make much out of it, he was getting some 1st team reps last week.

3) Who's the #3 Wide-Receiver?

No, not the slot-receiver. That's Wes Welker. So really, what I'm actually asking is "who's the #2 outside-the-numbers guy after Lloyd?". Jabar Gaffney is a new/old addition, Deion Branch needs to prove he's not getting too old, and Chad Ochocinco needs to prove he isnt clueless.

4) Who's the Right-Tackle?

I felt Sebastien Vollmer is more of a Left-Tackle than a Right-Tackle for awhile. But he's also injury prone. Marcus Cannon was getting some 1st-team reps at Right-Tackle recently and it wouldn't surprise me at all if he overtakes Vollmer as the #2 Tackle after Nate Solder.

5) Who's the starting 43RDE/34ROLB?

Does sophmore Markell Carter come seemingly out of nowhere? Does Trevor Scott prove to be a value FA-pickup? 1st rounder Chandler Jones? Fellow draftee Jake Bequette? It remains to be seen.

6) Who's the starting LOLB?

Rob Ninkovich has become a great cog in the Patriots D. But Dont'a Hightower is Dont'a Hightower. Ninkovich has some big-name competition that many considered a top-20 pick.

7) Who's the #2 DT/DE(5-tech)?

After Jonathan Fanene there's rookie Marcus Forston, Myron Pryor returning from injury,and Brandon Deaderick who got a lot of playng time after Shaun Ellis's disappointing stint in New England.

8) Who's the #2 Corner-Back?

After Devin McCourt there is a lot to muddle through. Ras-i Dowling is returning from injury for his sophmore season, Kyle Arrington has so far looked much better in the slot than outside the numbers, Sterling Moore came out of nowhere to make some great plays(and not so great ones) towards the end of the 2011 season, veteran Will Allen was brought in, Malcolm Williams is going to compete after a year on the practice-squad, and heck Alfonzo Dennard may even get a chance if he deosn't get arrested.

9) Who's the 4th Safety?

This position is partly insurance and especially for ST-value. It's the spot after Patrick Chung, Steven Gregory, and Tavon Wilson. I think it's going to be a 3-way brawl between Sergio Brown, FA pickup Marquis Cole(Jets), and draftee Nate Ebner. Whoever has this position will be a core STer.

10) Who's the return man?

Do they continue risking it with Wes Welker? Do they try to fix the deficiencies in Julien Edelman's game? Do they try Devin McCourty here, Shane Vereen, or maybe draftee Jeremy Ebert?

The views expressed in these FanPosts are not necessarily those of the writers or SBNation.

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