In my opinion, I think that NE has made some offseason moves both in free agency and in the draft defensively that I think could make this defense one of the tops in the NFL, and here are my 10 reasons why. 1) The re-signing of star CB Aqib Talib, proved extremely important last year and changed the entire aspect of the defense, paying dividends for the team down the stretch. And now, he gets to showcase talents from the start instead of midway through the season. 2) The signing of Adrian Wilson, is underrated and could be huge for not only the secondary but the entire defense as a whole. Rodney Harrison said it best, when Bill made this move that Adrian would bring tenacity and attitude along with physicality to the defense. He is not that old, 33 and still a young man. Players like Brian Dawkins, Rod Woodson, Leroy Butler, Lawyer Milloy, John Lynch and Ronnie Lott were all still playing at a very high level at the age of what Adrian is right now. Additionally, he is not asked to play alot of snaps, which will maximize his impact both on field and on the sidelines, through talent, natural born ability and leadership. When people often think of safeties in the mold of Ed Reed or Troy Polamolu, Adrian Wilson is usually next in line... whether it's playing some linebacker in subpackages, blitzing, stopping the run, coverage or making a big play at the right time to change the outcome of a game, he is always on the other end of it and just had an elite season as recent as 2011. 3) Devin McCourty at safety is among the best in the NFL, and we could have two all pro safeties starting in our secondary. Whenever you get the chance, look up opposing QB passer ratings when Devin is playing safety as oppose to cornerback and you'll be amazed. His range, and ability to sit back and read the Quarterback is on a very high level, along with his close-in speed and athleticism at that position. Love his sure hands and ball skills as well. Now, he gets to play that position from the start of the season. 4) The signing of DT/NT/DE Tommy Kelly, who just as recently as 2010 made the pro-bowl is a very good signing. I remember a time where Oakland offered him the highest paying contract of any defensive tackle in NFL history because of his playing expectations. Though he didn't quite live up to that, he is versatile, effective and can get after the passer still. Additionally, he can also play the run and is not asked to play every snap which maximizes his impact and minimizes health issues. It also makes future Hall of Famer Vince Wilfork that much more effective because it keeps him fresh and gives him extra help that's experienced help. 5) Draft pick OLB/DE Extraordinare Jamie Collins will add pass rushing skills and presence to an already stacked lineup of players that can get after the passer. He is young, fast, athletic and has big play ability. He also has good leverage and played in a complex defensive system. Could have immediate impact and will keep a steady rotation of other players fresh. You now have him, along with Rob Ninkovich, Chandler Jones, Justin Francis, Don'ta Hightower just to name a few who can beat blockers and get sacks. 6) The signing of those young defensive tackles such as Armstead, Vellano and a few more are known to be versatile, and will give the position needed balance of youth, speed and quickness... And Marcus Forston is from MIA and you know how good players from that school can be (Vince Wilfork, Ed Reed, Clinton Portis, Ray Lewis, Michael Irvin, Sean Taylor, etc). Additionally, Justin Francis is a hybrid who can get pressure from the interior which could help these guys out tremendously. Besides, with the signings of Veteran Tommy Kelly, and those UFA's, the departure of DT's Kyle Love and Brandon Deaderick shouldn't hurt at all. 7) The new depth at the secondary position with the draft picks will greatly be of help, and could have a steady rotation of efficiency in certain packages. Duron Harmon and Logan Ryans are smart, fundamental and have a lot of potential to be productive and bring much needed value to our secondary, especially learning from a staff such as NE and a coach like Bill Belichick. 8) Don't underestimate the re-signing of CB Kyle Arrington, who is proven solid at the position and is one of the best NICKEL backs in the league according to some analysts. 9) Watch out for second year players DE Chandler Jones and LB Don'ta Hightower. Keep in mind that before these guys got hurt, they were well on their way to being DROY candidates, well at least Jones was. Now, they have a chance to remain healthy for an entire year, with a full season under their belt and an offseason to learn. They have all the tools and talent to become superstars, and if they do then watch out. Could you imagine a star Chandler Jones being a double digit sack guy, along with Rob Ninkovich who you know can play well and Jamie Collins also coming off the edge? Wow. Additionally, second year secondary players CB Ras-I Dowling and FS Tavon Wilson showed some promise and if Ras can stay healthy and Tavon becomes better than that also gives the defense two more versatile players with skill in our secondary that looks to be already stacked this year. 10) Possibility of switching back to a 3-4. This would allow Rob Ninkovich to switch back to OLB. Now lets look at the rotation of Linebackers.. Jerod Mayo, Rob Ninkovich, Brandon Spikes, Don'ta Hightower, Jamie Collins, Dane Fletcher, Jermaine Cunningham and the rookie LB Steve Beauharnais. That's a lot of youth/veteran balance, athleticism, skill and versatility, in addition to smarts. With all that being said, the only questions are chemistry, timing and health. Even though I think we have the health issue covered with the depth that we have. And if all that potential that I was talking about plays out then we could have a very good season on that side of the ball.