Following DaBruinz' lead, I've attempted to tackle the question of "what holes do the Patriots most need to fill?" What's the state of the roster? To clarify: this is NOT the same as assessing draft and FA "priorities", which are shaped strongly by market forces. (E.g. the Pats have a gaping hole at fullback, but fullback won't be a high "priority" because the position is severely devalued in the marketplace.) My goal was to come up with a transparent way of weighting position importance, current need and projected need. I whipped up a 20-point scale, comprised of 3 scores. It may look arcane but it's actually pretty simple and quick to tally: 2009GapPoints (0-9) How far is the current Patriots roster from filling this position at a high level? E.g. Kicker scores a 0 because a Pro-Bowler is under contract; FB scores a 9 because the position is empty. 2010GapPoints (0-4) Same as above but looking ahead to 2010. PositionQualityValuePoints (0-7) How much does the quality of the player at this position affect the team's chances of winning? (Note that you must assign the full 0-7 range; a 0 doesn't mean the position is worthless, just that it doesn't earn any position value points.) I took a stab at scoring 38 individual positions, including starters, specialists, and primary subs. Here's the needs ranking I ended up with: 1. Strong Safety 2. Backup Nose Tackle 3. Punter 4. Fullback 5. Tight End A 6. Long Snapper 7. Swing Tackle 8. Rush OLB 9. 3rd ILB Notes: * Some of those positions had a second similar position that also scored in double digits: OT, TE, NT, and S. So those four position areas look to me like the primary, concentrated need areas. * OG and DE are notable for having multiple gaps to plan for in 2010. * CB & RB are notable for having multiple filled but "upgradable" slots for 2009. Or not.