Josh Alper (ProFootballTalk) Team needs: New England Patriots.
There was a point near the middle of last season when the conventional wisdom around the NFL was that the Patriots’ defense would stop them from making too much of their season. That didn’t look much like wisdom when the Pats won another AFC title, the fifth of the Bill Belichick era, and came within four points of winning the Super Bowl. The defense does need help, though, and it figures to get it after a free agency period devoted to the offense.
Pass Rusher: The Patriots have juggled their fronts a lot over the last few years so it is hard/meaningless to pin their need for pass rushing help specifically on a defensive end or a linebacker. With Mark Anderson gone and Andre Carter’s future with the team uncertain, they need the assistance regardless of the form that it takes. With four of the first 62 picks, the Patriots are well suited to pick up a couple of prospects to plug into their front seven. Names like USC’s Nick Perry, Syracuse’s Chandler Jones, Boise State’s Shea McClellin and Clemson’s Andre Branch are ones that could interest New England.
Cornerback: Adding help in the pass rush would also make life easier for a secondary that was exploited fairly often last season. Things got so bad that they turned to wide receiver Julian Edelman toward the end of the season. That didn’t work out well so the Patriots need to address the position once again and they will need to address it more than once if they plan on keeping Devin McCourty at safety. Will they gamble on the talented but troubled Janoris Jenkins?
Safety: If McCourty stays here, the need is lessened a bit. If he goes back to playing corner, however, this takes on a bit more importance. The Patriots have enough ammunition to move up and get Alabama’s Mark Barron if they are so inclined, but they could also probably grab Harrison Smith of Notre Dame without giving up any of their picks.
- Andy Hart breaks down the edge defenders.
- Patriots.com has wall-to-wall coverage of the 2012 NFL Draft.
- Patriots Today - Draft preview: Pass rush. (3.44 min. video)
- Patriots Today - Meet CB Will Allen. (3.21 min. video)
- Patriots Roster Report - The PFW crew discusses the rumors that Matt Light may retire and how that may effect O-Line depth. (10.42 min. program)
- Karen Guregian feels the bigger roster may benefit Kevin Faulk.
- Mike Reiss and Mike Rodak debate if this is the year the Patriots make a big move in the draft.
- Jim Donaldson sees the Patriots once again trading one of their first-round picks this year.
- Christopher Price looks back at Draft Day 2011 with Nate Solder remembering his experience.
- Mark Farinella says the one glaring weakness on the Patriots defense is their inability to maintain consistent pressure upon opposing QBs.
- Karen Guregian says the Patriots need some stability in their secondary and a legitimate partner for Patrick Chung.
- Karen Guregian looks at the top safeties available in the draft.
- Tom E. Curran breaks down the Wide Receiver position in this year's draft.
- Nick O'Malley looks at the NFL draft's top ten players with injury concerns. Safety Mark Barron (Alabama) tops the list.
- Christopher Price posts the transcript of his Pre-Draft online chat.
- Mike Reiss posts the mock draft selections Greg Cosell (NFL Films) picked for the Patriots.
- Shalise Manza Young compares the rap on talented CB Janoris Jenkins with players like Aaron Hernandez and Ryan Mallett, and wonders how much baggage is too much.
- Tom E. Curran reports Mike Mayock 'bangs the table' for LB Shea McClellin.
- Noah Coslov and Greg Bedard discuss the Patriots' draft needs. (3.06 min. video)
- Jeff Howe says the Saints' bugging allegations are worse than the Patriots' spygate scandal, from a competitive balance perspective.
- Brian Billick (Fox Sports) NFL Draft needs: AFC East.
- Richard Deitsch (SI) Media circus: 2012 NFL Draft TV preview.
- Evan Silva (ProFootballTalk) NFL alumni to announce second-day draft picks. Patriots will have Troy Brown do the honors.
- Mike Carmin (Journal and Courier) Purdue ties only go so far for Patriots duo Matt Light and Rob Ninkovich.
- Sam Farmer (LA Times) NFL Draft preview: AFC East and NFC East.
- James Walker (ESPN) Should Patriots draft offensive linemen?
- Jason Cole (Yahoo! Sports) Trades for high NFL draft picks discussed more than previous years.
- Mike Florio (ProFootballTalk) Sapp won't work NFL draft for NFLN.
- Matt Bowen (Nat'l Football Post) NFL Draft: When will the 'run' on CBs begin?
- Mike Freeman (CBS Sports) Acceptance of campus pot smoking altering NFL's drug compass.
- Clifton Brown (Sporting News) Risk management: No matter how much teams spend on draft research, it's difficult to evaluate character.
- Pat Kirwan (CBS Sports) Second round of 2012 NFL Draft, like 2011's, is place teams get max value.
- Michael Lombardi (NFL.com) NFL Draft forecast: Ten predictions.
- Mike Florio (ProFootballTalk) League unexpectedly expands rosters from 80 to 90.
- NFL Total Access (NFL.com) Fraternity of the Ones. (4.50 min. video)
- John Barr (ESPN) Sources: Saints GM could eavesdrop on opposing coaches during home games.
- Sam Farmer (LA Times) Report: Saints GM Mickey Loomis eavesdropped on opposing coaches.
- Mike Florio (ProFootballTalk) Saints officials go on record to dispute espionage allegations.
- Mike Florio (ProFootballTalk) Saints call report of Loomis espionage "1000 percent false".
- Brian Costello (NY Post) Jets' Revis may hold out again.
- Mike Florio (ProFootballTalk) Cornwell says NFLPA leadership engages in "deception and subterfuge".