With the recent acquisitions of Santonio Holmes by the New York Jets and Brandon Marshall by the Miami Dolphins, the degree of difficulty in the AFC East has certainly been increased. Add to that the fact that, respectively, a 5th rounder and two 2nd rounders were all it took, and you have some alarm bells ringing in Patriot fans heads across the nation.
While many pundits and fans alike will point out that both teams have brought in other teams off-field problems, I’d remind you that the game is played on the field. Their locker rooms haven’t gotten any better, but all it takes is a year of chemistry, and even Terrell Owens is capable of that.
What does this mean for the Patriots? Don’t expect Coach Belichick to be sated by just the signing of Leigh Bodden. He needs three cornerbacks of his caliber now, and while Darius Butler and Bodden have certainly shown the ability, the triumvirate of Shawn Springs, Terrence Wheatley, and Jonathan Wilhite has been incredibly underwhelming. Joe Haden, Devin McCourty, Amari Spievey, and Kyle Wilson are the four guys in the draft that I can see the Patriots targeting at the CB position.
Another consideration is that the Patriots will have arguably the 3rd best WR corps to start the 2010 NFL Season… in the AFC East. Julian Edelman will do his best to replace Wes Welker, but the Patriots have struggled since Jabar Gaffney left to find a legitimate #2 WR to play opposite Randy Moss. Mardy Gilyard, Demaryius Thomas, and Dez Bryant, are three guys in the NFL Draft that I feel could step in right away to that position, while our own Brandon Tate will be in the mix as well.
The Jets and Dolphins have made their moves, come back during the 2010 NFL Draft to see how the Patriots made theirs.