Originally Posted by AzPatsFan
This is a thread that illuminates nothing. You can use an upgrade at whatever position doesn't have a HOF player and a HOF reserve or maybe two. ITS A NON SEQUITOR.
The real question is what position needs a quality starting level player?
Surprise... None. But these positions have marginal starters. S, ILB, and CB (due to youth). Every where else, like the OL could use a developmental, and talented guy who is expected to start in two years. Same for OLB and CB and ????
That is why they won ELEVEN games guys, despite starting an equivalent to a rookie QB! The Team simply has lots of good players and no glaring weaknesses.
I agree with the general sentiment, but there are definitely starters who could be realistically replaced (but this team is still a Super Bowl favorite with all of these guys starting, so you upgrade where you can and see what happens). IMO, the team could benefit quite a bit by upgrading at any of these positions:
Offensive line: LT, RT, RG. Mankins and Koppen are great, but any of the other three could be upgraded, IMO. I like light, but he gets manhandled by the elite pass rushers out there. I'd love to see Light at RT and a real stud at LT, especially with Brady coming off of his injury. I also like Neal a lot, but it seems like he's pretty much guaranteed to miss 6-8 games. Once again, though, if it doesn't happen it doesn't happen. We have a good OL as it is.
Tight End: Once again, not a huge priority. I'm still curious to see how good David Thomas really is, and I'm still kinda waiting to see if Ben Watson will become a really good tight end, but I'd love to see the Pats pick up a run blocker at TE. Kinda like how they picked up Kyle Brady in '07, except with totally different results.
WR: Low priority. Gaffney's fine. A little more speed from his position would just make things unfair, but there's a reason why Gaffney beat out Stallworth over the course of '07. Smart player, runs good routes, and, the Indy game notwithstanding, surehanded.
RB: Non-priority. I'd like to see the Pats re-sign Jordan and bring the whole stable of RBs back, and maybe we'll even see something out of Maroney this year. Whatever- either way, the Pats will have a formidable ground game as long as one of Morris or Jordan is healthy at any given time.
Backup QB: I'm not too worried about this one. O'Connell's had a year under Belichick, Brady, and JMD. If he's not ready yet, I'm sure they'll bring in a competent veteran behind Brady. No big deal.
Defensive line: Low priority. I'd like to see Wilfork extended this offseason, and either way (but especially if we can't), it would be nice if we could get our hands on a more complete backup/replacement for him, but there are more 3-4 teams in the NFL than legitimate nose tackles, so that's not going to happen. Extending Wilfork and maybe Seymour as well would be gravy.
ILB: Moderate priority. I like Guyton, but if we can get a more punishing run-stopper (think pre-stroke Bruschi) out there, I'd be all for it. I'd like to see Bruschi relegated to a backup role as soon as possible. I'd actually kinda like to see Vrabel moved inside.
OLB: moderate/high priority. Woods was alright, but I'd like to see more here. I liked Colvin when he came back, and would be pretty intrigued to see Colvin and Thomas starting at OLB next season, with Vrabel either at inside or hybrid, and Woods and Crable for depth.
Strong Safety: Probably our highest priority, IMO. Not sure if Rodney's coming back, and I do like James Sanders, but I'd like to see some youth and athleticism injected here. From what I hear, though, I don't think there are any major prospects that will be available for the Pats in the draft, so that's kind of a bummer. I'd be curious to see what Belichick originally intended with Tank, too. It's a real shame that he got injured so early.
CB: I'm not so convinced that we're in dire straits here, pending the progression of Wheatley and Wilhite. Hobbs isn't the best CB out there, but he's a legitimate NFL starter. I liked what I saw from pretty much everyone but O'Neal last year, though. I'd like to think that if Wheatley had stayed healthy he would have supplanted O'Neal before Wilhite eventually did, but all in all I think that our secondary isn't as bad off as it seems. Lewis Sanders is a solid hybrid, Richardson is pretty good depth, and Wilhite and Wheatley both showed some real potential. If we could get a seriously talented player as an upgrade at CB, then that would be nice, but I wouldn't be surprised if Belichick doesn't consider it a top priority.