2014 – How I would build the Defense

About a week ago I wrote How I would build the Offense and this is carries over from that. In that scenario, I have essentially used 3 of my 4 top picks, leaving selection #29 and late round picks available to address needs on Defense.

Defensive end

Chandler Jones (2016)

Rob Ninkovich (2016)

Michael Buchanan (2016)

Jake Bequette (2015)

Solid with Jones and Ninkovich as starters, and Buchanan (rookie 7th rounder) adds some depth, the Patriots may be better off moving on from Bequette, and trying to bring in a FA this year. Carolina's Greg Hardy is on the market, and Cincinnati's Michael Johnson also, that's two top players in free agency. Minnesota's Jared Allen, Pittsburgh's Jason Worilds, former Saints Will Smith, Giant’s Tuck, and others are out there. A veteran should be able to be brought in, on affordable terms.

Defensive tackle

Chris Jones (2016)

Joe Vellano (2015)

Isaac Sopoaga (2015)

Marcus Forston (2015)

Cory Grissom (2015)

Armond Armstead (2015)

Tommy Kelly (2015)

Sealver Siliga (2014)

Vince Wilfork (2014)

Wilfork’s $7.6 million base salary and $11.6 million salary-cap hit is a killer, the Patriots have always been about the bottom line, they have let top players go in the past, a year early rather than a year late. I would be very surprised to see WIlfork return without taking a big paycut, signing a contract that is very team friendly.

Sopoaga did nothing to justify his $3.5 million salary, and is the most likely to be cut of any Patriots player currently on the roster.

BB has spoken highly of Armstead, so I would expect him to contribute in 2014, Grissom is also a wild card factor in all this, a potential surprise contributor after spending his rookie season on IR.

I also have to weigh BB’s recent (as in the past few years) views on D-line (DT) players, he seems to believe a team can get by with dime-a-dozen big bodies to throw in there, and he may not be willing to spend a top pick on a DT like he used to do regularly in the early years of his tenure.

I believe they could cut WIlfork and Sopoaga, and march into the season with who they have. Add Armstead, Grissom, and Kelly back into the mix, and they’d get by. So if DT gets ignored in the draft all together, it wouldn’t surprise me a bit.

But I could also see them targeting LOUIS NIX III or Ra'Shede Hageman with their 1st rounder, with Nix more in the mold of a Wilfork replacement. Or they could trade down/out of the 1st and select someone like Daquan Jones in the 2nd.


Jerod Mayo (2017)

Jamie Collins (2016)

Steve Beauharnais (2016)

Dont’a Hightower (2015)

Ja’Gared Davis (2015)

Taylor Reed (2015)

Chris White (2014)

I can see them resigning Dane Fletcher if no other team offers him a starter-type contract, and I can see them taking a flyer on a late round prospect in this draft like BOSEKO LOKOMBO who really would prove to be a steal with a 6th round pick.


Kyle Arrington (2016)

Logan Ryan (2016)

Justin Green (2015)

Alfonzo Dennard (2015)

Resign Aqib Talib, biggest resign they have to make of this year’s FAs. They don’t have an option to do otherwise unless they are bringing in another top tier FA to replace him. I can see them taking a flier in the late rounds on someone like WALT AIKENS who has the size at 6’1 and ability, but also has some baggage in his background that could get him to drop.


Duron Harmon (2016)

Adrian Wilson (2015)

Tavon Wilson (2015)

Nate Ebner (2015)

Kanorris Davis (2015)

Devin McCourty (2014)

Steve Gregory (2014)

Adrian Wilson spent the year on injured reserve, and will likely be cut somewhere along the way.

Tavon Wilson (2nd round ‘12) played just 18 defensive snaps as his development has just flatlined.

As much as we would all like to see them grab up a great SS, I just don’t see one in the draft worth targeting that will be any better than what they have now, maybe another veteran FA will be thrown into the mix to compete, but I don’t expect much to be done here this year… other than them resigning McCourty between now and the end of the season.

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

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