I posed a question on Twitter that got roughly 50 responses. Some of y'all can't count to three, but that's okay because the more data the merrier.
So #Patriots fans, give me your top three needs for the draft, assuming they resign Revis/DMC/Chung/Ayers/Casillas/Gostkowski.— Rich Hill (@PP_Rich_Hill) December 8, 2014
This process works under the assumption that the Patriots get a new deal with free safety Devin McCourty and kicker Stephen Gostkowski, and that they work out an extension with the one-year rentals Darrelle Revis (a deal where both parties are interested), Patrick Chung, Akeem Ayers, and Jonathan Casillas.
Are all of these deals locks? I don't think so. But I would think Ayers and Casillas have the biggest chance of walking compared to the others.
But these are my rules and your responses. And of your responses, a few needs stood head and shoulders above the rest.
There were more offensive guards noted as a need than the number of responses- Of the responses, 112% said guard was a need. This is because a lot of people put down "OG and OG" or "two OGs" or "RG and LG" and it's pretty clear that while Ryan Wendell and Dan Connolly have been playing admirably as of late, there is definite room for improvement.
There's a grouping of offensive tackle, wide receiver, and defensive end all with roughly 50% of the responses, which presents a clear second tier of needs. The Patriots have two starters at each position, but there's either a need for depth (WR, DE), or someone to push for starting time (all three?). I do wonder how much of the need for an OT is linked to Nate Solder's performance against the Chargers; he hasn't been too bad during the winning streak.
In the third grouping there's a defensive tackle, linebacker, running back, safety need, which is clearly just back of the roster chum, where the top three or four names are already established on the roster; but the back-end can always improve.
When it comes to looking at the Patriots, what do you think is their biggest need moving forward?