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2012 New England Patriots Offseason Needs

May 30, 2012 | Comments: 0 | Views: 173

The New England Patriots finished with a 13-3 record despite being pretty bad defensively last year. They rode their success on the offensive end as they once again represented the AFC in the Super Bowl. Head coach Bill Belichick and quarterback Tom Brady thought they'd be on their way to another Lombardi Trophy, but the Patriots' offense fell short when it mattered most. New England has a lot of holes on the defensive side of the ball, but its biggest addition so far has been wideout Brandon Lloyd. Here are some of the Patriots' top additions and subtractions so far in the young offseason, plus a breakdown of their biggest needs heading into the draft.

Additions:

WR Brandon Lloyd

DE/OLB Trevor Scott

ILB Bobby Carpenter

G Robert Gallery

WR Anthony Gonzalez

CB Will Allen

SS Steve Gregory

DE/DT Jonathan Fanene

WR Donte' Stallworth

Subtractions:

DE Mark Anderson

RB BenJarvus Green-Ellis

Top 5 Needs:

1. Outside Linebacker

While it may seem like the secondary is to blame for the Patriots' inability to stop the pass, the reality is that a lot of their struggles start with the lack of pressure the front seven puts on the quarterback. Mark Anderson and Andre Carter were the top two pass rushers last season with two sacks apiece. Anderson has already signed with the Buffalo Bills, but Carter is still a free agent. The Patriots were able to add Trevor Scott from the Oakland Raidrs, but he isn't really a player you can rely on defensively, as he had just 1.5 sacks over the past two seasons combined. New England has two picks in the first round, and it is imperative that it uses one of those on someone who specializes in getting to the quarterback.

2. Defensive End

The Patriots were able to steal Jonathan Fanene away from the Cincinnati Bengals. The addition of Fanene will help alleviate the loss of Anderson at the 3-4 defensive end spot, and he can also play defensive end in the 4-3. New England has a propensity for signing players who are able to fit in the 3-4 and 4-3 schemes, and I wouldn't be surprised if they address this need at some point in the draft.

3. Safety

After cutting Brandon Meriweather and James Sanders in the preseason, it's looking like the Patriots might be regretting that decision now. Josh Barrett and Patrick Chung were supposed to be the starters coming into the season, but both have missed significant time due to injuries. New England was able to add Steve Gregory from the San Diego Chargers, but he is more like a temporary Band-Aid than a long-term solution. The safety class is extremely weak this year, so the Patriots might just fill this need via free agency. If they are unable to sign players that can help them, though, Devin McCourty and/or Ras-I Dowling could make the transition to safety.

4. Cornerback

New England will need to add some help at the corner position, because there is a chance that either McCourty or Dowling will make the switch to safety. An upgrade is certainly needed because even if Kyle Arrington and Sterling Moore saw a lot of burn last year, they weren't really able to provide solid help for the team. With the two picks the Pats have at the first round, its highly likely that they will use one of them to add more depth at this position.

5. Offensive Line

This isn't really a pressing need unless both Brian Waters and Matt Light decide to retire prior to the 2012 season. New England has signed Robert Gallery, presumably to replace Waters should he retire. The Patriots might just add a young player to develop later in the draft, but the most pressing need the team will address is mainly on the defensive side of the ball.

Click here for the latest odds from the respected site BetFirms.com.

Source: EzineArticles
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