Nate Davis of USA Today has been handing out grades to each NFL team for their offseason performance, based on "roster maneuvers, coaching changes, current events and so forth." Recently, he handed out offseason grades for the AFC East. The Patriots tied with the Bills, receiving the top grade in the AFC East with an "A-":
Bill Belichick's bunch was oh-so-close to its fourth Lombardi Trophy in 11 seasons. But the Pats have been busy since their four-point loss in Super Bowl XLVI. Six of their seven draft picks were devoted to a defense that finished last in the AFC. Rookie DE Chandler Jones and LB Dont'a Hightower should be impact players in short order, though second-round S Tavon Wilson was questioned by some as a reach. Much will be expected of Jones after the team chose not to re-sign Anderson and fellow DE Andre Carter, who combined for 20 sacks in 2011. Seventh-round CB Alfonzo Dennard has the talent to make a difference, and a secondary that still seems unsettled might need him. A scoreboard-shattering offense said goodbye to longtime LT Matt Light, who retired, and steady RB BenJarvus Green-Ellis. Nate Solder, a first rounder in 2011, should thrive in Light's role while the tailback-by-committee approach promises to endure with Stevan Ridley taking a leading role with ex-Colt Joseph Addai in the mix. Watch a saturated receiver group. Wes Welker and free agent signee Brandon Lloyd, who knows offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels' playbook well, should start. But it could be a spirited battle with Deion Branch, Chad Ochocinco, Julian Edelman, Jabar Gaffney, Anthony Gonzalez, Donte' Stallworth and special teams ace Matthew Slater vying for jobs. Bottom line: New England is loaded for another Super run.
It's hard to disagree with anything Davis said, as this was more of a recap than a detailed analysis of the Patriots offseason. But for some perspective, consider that Davis gave a "C-" grade to the Jets and a "B-" grade to the Dolphins.
All of this being said, what do you think of Davis' assessment of the Patriots offseason? Fair? What grade would you give the Patriots and their fellow AFC East teams?