Team Needs: New England Patriots
By: Stephen Zorio
Category: Washington Redskins News
2008 Projected Cap Status: $8,270,090 under the cap
2007 Season Recap:
If you followed the NFL only casually, you might believe the following sentence is written in error: The New England Patriots have the seventh pick in the 2008 NFL Draft. Sadly for everyone who does not root for the Pats, that's not a misprint. Were it not for their punishment in the infamous "Spygate" scandal, the team that game within one game of a perfect season would have two first-round picks. In fact, the team would have held three of the top 31 overall picks.
The Patriots 2007 season was simply astounding, from their remarkable run at perfection to their gripping battle with the New York Giants in the Super Bowl. The regular-season numbers posted by the prolific, record-setting offense are mind-boggling. They averaged 411 yards and nearly 37 points PER game, amassing 6,580 total yards.
Tom Brady threw for 4,806 yards and 50 touchdowns, with only eight interceptions. He completed nearly 70% of his passes (68.9) with 398 completions. Randy Moss led the league in receiving touchdowns and Wes Welker tied for the lead in receptions. The defense held up its end of the bargain, that unit was seventh best in yards allowed per game.
So it's an odd thing to say that a team that went 18-1 has needs or holes, but, as the Giants demonstrated, the Patriots are (somewhat) mortal.
Linebacker - The Patriots use a 3-4 defense and its linebacking corps, while solid, is old by NFL standards. All-Pro Mike Vrabel is entering his 12th season, standout Tedy Bruschi is entering his 13th season and the team released Rosevelt Colvin and Oscar Lua. Look for the team to use the draft to add youth and depth at this position.
Cornerback - All-Pro CB Asante Samuel departed for Philadelphia via free agency as did Randall Guy, taking nine of the teams 19 total interceptions with them. The team also lost Eugene Wilson and Ellis Hobbs struggled badly in the Super Bowl.
Safety - Rodney Harrison's play has slipped of late and given his age (35) and injury history, the team has to be considering his eventual replacement. Free agent Eugene Wilson signed with Tampa Bay. The team used first-round pick Brandon Meriweather at safety but he is inexperienced. The team signed six-year veteran Tank Williams but could still use some depth at this spot.
2008 Draft Picks:
First round: 7th overall
Second round: 31st overall
Third round: 69th overall
Third round: 94th overall
Fourth round: 129th overall
Fifth round: 164th overall
Sixth round: 197th overall
Seventh round: 238th overall
Free Agency Status:
WR Troy Brown
LB Tedy Bruschi (resigned)
WR Jabar Gaffney (resigned)
CB Randall Gay (signed w/Saints)
LB Larry Izzo (resigned)
S Mel Mitchell
WR Randy Moss (resigned)
C Lonie Paxton (resigned)
CB Asante Samuel (signed w/Eagles)
CB Chad Scott
LB Junior Seau
WR Donte’ Stallworth (signed w/Browns)
WR Kelley Washington (resigned)
DB Eugene Wilson (signed w/Bucs)
DL Mike Wright (resigned)
TE Kyle Brady
DL Rashad Moore (signed w/Falcons)
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