So I'm going to start evaluating next years draft from 2012 film and I want to concentrate initially on the direction I think the Patriots might go next year. Now obviously this is likely a fruitless exercise, but one has to start somewhere. So where do people think our needs are likely to be come next years draft? Here's my thinking.
1. Interior DL: Love and Deaderick's contracts are coming to an end and of course Big Vince will be another year older. I think we could be looking at 2xDTs potentially next year including at least one in the very early rounds.
2. CB. This depends on Talib. For now, I don't think Dowling can be relied upon, nor do I think Logan Ryan has the skills to be a dependable starting outside CB. If Talib is re-signed and Dowling miraculously stays injury free, then I think we've got an excellent CB corps that doesn't need to be addressed. On the other hand, if things don't go the right way, this catapults to a priority need.
3. Interior OL: Not quite as big a need because a) there are bodies in place and B) with Dante on board, value can be found later and coached up. However, Wendell is out of contract and both Mankins and Connolly are expensive, getting older and increasingly cuttable.
4. QB. Assuming that a Mallett trade gets worked out, or that he leaves when he becomes a FA, any QB drafted from next year on could see himself starting before he sees out his first contract. In my view, it's a position that needs to start being considered from next year on.
5. DE. Too many question marks to really decide what the future is at this position. Got to think that Cunningham won't be retained long-term and Ninkovich has to be on the long-term bubble. So it comes down to what we have in Bequette, Buchanan, Collins and Francis. It may end up being a position we're comfortable at or not.
And that's close to it for me. WR might need to be addressed if there are the usual rookie issues but almost everywhere else, I think we're pretty much covered.
Thoughts? I promise I won't hold you to them