2012 NFL Draft Open Thread: Biggest Need for the Patriots?

Devin McCourty Interception

If Devin McCourty doesn't return to his rookie form, is defensive back the Patriots biggest need? (Photo: ICON SMI)

NEPD Editor: James Christensen

A team that finished the 2011 NFL Season with a Super Bowl loss obviously doesn’t have needs in the sense that some teams have. That isn’t to say that the Patriots roster can’t be improved on.

In this open thread, we’ll discuss what is THEE biggest need for the Patriots on draft day.

In my opinion, there is one thing separating the Patriots team from their goal of winning a fourth Lombardi trophy – a devastating defensive lineman.

A lineman of Fletcher Cox’s caliber makes every single player around him better. Fellow defenisve linemen suddenly are free of double teams. The linebackers are that much cleaner due to the extra attention paid to the line. The corners have a half second less of coverage responsibility. Safeties don’t see tight ends go out, because they are chipping on the DE.

If the Patriots can improve the defense at all three levels with just one pick, I think the cost of trading up is worth it.

If New England could only address one need in the 2012 NFL Draft, which position should they draft?

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36 Responses to “2012 NFL Draft Open Thread: Biggest Need for the Patriots?”

  1. Bob Shannon says:

    Honestly, The Patriots biggest need in the Draft is getting Parcels to pick the groceries…………BB stands for Big Bust!!!!!

  2. Rickey says:

    btw chandler jones i dont think isa fit. he isnt a great rusher nor canhe hold up as a 3-4 de same goes 4 wolfe. we need 2 get nasty in the trenches n u dont do that with seccond rate talent.brockers can transform our whole defense

  3. Rickey says:

    i think a team shoukld draft 4a mix of need n best player n trade up if a standout player is available.example pats biggest need is edge rusher dt na tie 4 wr n cb. there r no elite edge rushers which brings us 2 dt or 3-4 de whatever u call it. there r several there cox is gonna go in top10 brockers is n elite talent on the level of suh n a position of need therefore worth trading up into first 15 spots. its vital not 2 talk ourselves into an edge rusher when theres no elite talent there just cuz its our biggest need.ingrm n upshaw r not expplosive. branch n perry hav no power shock or violence like last drfts edge rushers. that leads us 2 dt. theres some developmental wr’s 2 invest a rd 3 or 4 pick on n some corners of value in rd2 janoris jenkins woukld b nice at end of rd or early rd2 but dt is where the elite potential stands at our #2 need

  4. rickey says:

    we need bb 2 draft 4 talent n coach them up like walsh jimmy johnson n even his mentor parcells used 2 do!! he drafts inferior players simply cuz they ran plays incollege similar 2 some of his or wr’s who can return kicks rather than catching the ball first n foremost he picked taylor prie over decker n mike williams. i like spikes but bowman is a future multi pro bowler passed on connor barwin n krueger in 09 2select several busts. passed on guys like mike roos marus mcneil whitworth winston staley 2 name some protect his once in a decade qb cuz inferior kazur knew the scheme which caused us 2 lose the super bowl n got brady injured!! the lack of a big outside target was the reason we lost our last super bowl guys like decker williams bryant marshall colston wallace that he passed on would hav made gthe difference.i hope dowling works out cuz cb eing a need still is getting redicoulous. he also passed on webb geno atkins n many other positions of need 2 select busts usuall at the same position. i dont like any outside edge rushers this draft bbut brockers or cox r differencemakers he needs 2 get dominant in the trenches. there is no comparison in this yrs edge rushers 2last drfts. he alread missed that boat . i like the lloyd signing but he should have added the younger meachem also 2 avoid having 2make anyy more picks at wr

  5. BILL says:

    Pats biggest need is front 7. You can’t put undrafted players on LOSD and compete. They need a big, powerful, DE/DT that can control his area. I’m intrigued by Chandler Jones, Derek Wolfe, and Malik Jackson
    They need LB’s with speed who can attack the QB, run the sidelines and drop back in coverage. Half of the snaps are with 5-6 man back subpackages, and they fill them with who are too small or too slow. I’m intrigued by Mychal Kendricks, Bobby Wagner, and Bruce Irvin
    A free safety is needed to compete with RB / TE underneath. I like Markelle Martin, Trumaine Johnson, and Harrison Smith in 2nd round
    A big OLB/DE is teams’s biggest need. Nick Perry, Shea McClellin, Andre Branch are 3 guys who should be on the radar. Cam Johnson isd another interesting guy late 2nd Round.
    Thats 4 picks that should be made in 1st 3 rounds. The other could be a RB. That makes a for a very successful draft.

    1A/1B Nick Perry / Chandler Jones
    2A/2B Harrison Smith / Mychal Kendricks
    3 Robert Turbin

  6. Rob says:

    I say the patriots go secondary in the first round with Jenkins and smith if possible. Second round should be defensive line with jerel worthy or Brandon Thompson and a linebacker/Alshon Jeffery if he falls (getting a guy who used to be a consensus top 15 would be great). Then say they use there later picks to take a chance on guys like vontaze burflict and donte Paige moss who also used to be 1st round prospects but have (major…) character concerns

  7. NEtyson says:

    Positions/players we need..by pririty
    1) Dt/DE who can excell in our system,Control POT/get to QB
    2) OLB who can get to QB
    3) Safety who can read/play centerfield
    4) MLB who can play the pass/cover TE/RB on 3rd down
    5) CB who can play man/slot WR
    6) OG/OC
    7) big physical WR to take the top off of defenses
    8) kick/punt returner if not a WR or CB who can contribute taking returns
    9) short yard/goalline RB
    Im not sayn BB will fill every need in those 3days…i do know and im confident hes gonna do what he thinks is best short and long term for the pats to win…and im sure we can all agree what the top need is in general…………DEFENSE………………..everybody say it altogether now…………DEFENSE……………

  8. rickey says:

    i know im crossing a line here but our biggest need is 4 bb 2 draft a lil better n change his philosophy a lil.4 a guy that has so many picks every yr sure has a lot of holes 2 fill. db edge rusher fs wr dline…… brady is not a luxury he will have 4ever. so he ma wanna surround him with talent. picks 2many role players. he picks his db’s n lb’s based on them running plays in college similar 2 his sheme instead of drafting n explosive talented instinctful player n coaching him up. same can b said at oline n wr even though his oline picks been much better. nicks cclay matthews connor barwin manningham mike williams sheard ladarius webb avril krueger young mlb sf drafted in 2010 wiesnewski decker jordyy nelson greg jennings marshall brooks reed 2 name a couple need positions he passed on n in most cases drafted players in the same position that didnt work out. all the picks used cb n wr should not b a need

  9. rickey says:

    cox is likely outa reach anyways brockers is the guy 4 us. he has same raw talent as suh n we need 2 get nasty in thetrenches again!! if either fall to 10-15 range we must trade up. brokers has explosive pocket collapsing power that commands double teams. once he learns some technique from wilfork n the vets he may b bbest dlineman we ever had. he is an athletic chiseled 325lbs. poe lit it up at combine but brockers is the guy with the more funtional brute strengh. we need n edge rusher 2 n maybe a corner. it would b nice if jenkins fell 2 us. he is right there with claiborne in raw talent. i dont like this draafts edge rushers. if bb didnt like last yrs edge rushers enough 2 trade up then i would seriously begin questioning his skills drafting talent. cuz in m mind not one edge rusher could compare 2 any of last yrs top4 kerrigan miller smith or quinn. all those guys were the total package burst agility speed n power. branch n perry can match their agility n athleticism but show no power at all. upshaw n ingram lack burst n cant beat nfl tackles with just their power. so although its a need i dont c any that will have an impact. i dont think oline is a need at all i think cannon would makea terrific guard like carl nicks. i really wanted nicks in 08 draft i thought he woukld make a great guard n now cannon is bigger n more athletic than nicks. with solder n volmer at ot n mankins n cannon at guard n connelly n koppen rotating center is as good as any oline in the nfl

  10. Lundahl says:

    Focus on the front seven, the defensive backfield isn’t such an issue. Look at the Eagles and how it turned out with their “frightening shutdown corners”. We need to get tougher up front and we need to get to the quarterback. I wouldn’t draft a DB until the 5th, just sayin’.

  11. Ryan says:

    I understand everyone has somewhat banded together here. But I personally think we need a C/RG. Perhaps a combo. Next year, we may not have a RG or a starting caliber C. I hope they have their eye on someone. The addition of a FB will help the younger backs out but the addition of a good OC will make the running game much better.

  12. Justin says:

    I would love if they somehow got Cox… looks like Ty Warren II. But he’s not gonna fall so hopefully Brockers will and after we trade the 31st pick Smith is still there at FS and we can grab some good 2nd round depth/future starters at ol/de/wr

  13. AM says:

    I’ll deviate from the D-Line chorus and say a quality all-around OLB–someone who can rush the passer with speed (as opposed to “just” effort) and can also set the edge.

  14. Jeff says:

    So we all agree! Build the D-LINE!

  15. Dan says:

    I would say they need that stud DT again…like they had in years past…a few years with Warren & Seymour (and Wilfork). But, I really think they can get a nice DT/DE in this draft where they are; although, Cox would be a great addition…ideal.
    So, I think it’s harder to find the pass rusher (for their system), but I’m not sure there is one standout, sure-thing, in this draft…especially where they are picking. I do hope they take the plunge and roll the dice on the one of their choice, even if it’s Jones (who I’m not liking, but if they do I will wait & see).
    Safety help is needed…Gregory was a nice pick up, but I see that as an insurance policy…flexibility and depth, with the chance to start and play special teams. Barron is my guy, but I’ll be happy with Smith, Taylor and any other player they like at the position.

    I do think Fanene will be putting some pressure on the QB though…I think that move is very undercovered in the media. They jumped all over him and he’s a player.

  16. Joe Blake says:

    Spend the four first and second round picks on D… DL, OLB, SS, CB…

  17. Jim R says:

    Front 7 help on defense. Ed Reed would get lit up if he were our safety. Need to pressure the QB.
    Need 2- Press corner
    Need 3- Big tall fast WR.
    Need 4-Free Safety (Hopefully not Barron or Smith in the first round)

  18. Andy F says:

    I agree that Defensive Line is our biggest need. In addition to what has been discussed before, I think that we should also consider what would happen to this team if Vince Wilfork were hurt or had to miss significant time. The impact on his loss would be devastating, perhaps even a bigger loss than if Tom Brady were hurt (based on replacement player). It seems to me that Belichick does a good job of building redundancy and player depth, but if something happened to Wilfork, I don’t know if this team realistically makes the playoffs.

  19. Bill says:

    I agree on the free safety, but we really need more speed from the linebackers. There are a bunch of guys from Bobby Wagner, Mychal Kendricks, Lavonte David, Bruce Irvin. I’d really like to spend a pick on one of them to get an LB who can cover & Blitz. I’d think about Harrison at #31, and then the best weak side LB Pats can get at 48. SPEED KILLS

  20. Kemicol says:

    Fs is the Biggest need a legit ball hawk would improve the whole defense but d-line would be big to how about dontae Poe a big space eater next to wilfork to draw double teams and then give wilfork a spell in the 3-4 look

    • Billy C says:

      I’d much rather draft Chapman out of Alabama as that big guy in the middle.

      • ErDreus12 says:

        I love the pats but the scheme has to change to an attacking style defense, dropping seven and eight every snap just doesn’t work if that doesn’t change don’t matter who we draft.

      • Nuf Ced says:

        THAT ^^^^

        Also a big fan of Nick Gentry as a late round or UFA

        I would love a NT and kick Wilfork outside

  21. chuck says:

    pass rush will make the secondary look better. This is most critical need .Who is the best pass rusher in this draft?

  22. Bruschi54 says:

    I agree that a stud DLineman would make the biggest impact, and Fletcher Cox is the guy in this draft. Cox is a very disruptive player who would make the back end of the defense look a lot better. I think he will be off the board no later than Dallas at 14, and possibly in the top 10. Everyone has talked about the need to be more athletic on the edge and that will help, but they need a legit starting FS. BB must think highly of Gregory based on the contract he gave him, but if Mark Barron is in reach we need to get him. Barron is the type of player that will have an impact in the middle of the field vs the run & pass. He has been successful playing in the middle (no more conversions) and is very athletic and physical. Outside of Chung we don’t make any plays from our safety spots.

  23. Joe says:

    They need to go up and get Barron. He is clearly the best safety in the draft. It might be tougher now to find a good safety than any other position.

  24. Jim says:

    A disruptive player on the front 7. Don’t care which position it is. Give me a Fletcher Cox up the middle or a Melvin Ingram on the edge, but someone to pressure the QB. That should give the secondary a better chance to compete. QB’s had too much time in the pocket last year.

  25. Beast says:

    Top Priority is a front 7 defensive playmaker… We need an OLB or DE who make negative plays for our opponents…especially on third ” get off the field” down.

    Secondly, a DB….Our CB’s and safeties are average at best ….We bend way to much for a team that wants Rings. I know “bend don’t break” but it seems we bend so much we give the other team numerous opportunities to make plays…i.e. Super Bowl…when we should be OFF the field.

    Offensively…QB/TE’s are A+ and OL seems deep and productive / WR who knows Branch is old as is Ocho/ Welker is great and Llyod is a player…. but throws in the seam work well when we r a threat to punch your defense in the face and run the ball so I’d like to see another downhill RB

  26. Matthew says:

    Im a huge fan of a one two punch of Olb McClelin and Cb jenkins if mccourty is moved safety

  27. Justin says:

    Free Safety.
    -Gregory is an adequate nickel/dime/slot guy in coverage and run support
    -Chung is good but plays bigger than his small frame and often banged up
    -Sergio Brown aka fake merriweather is the worst pro player i’ve ever seen
    -Ihedigbo is unsigned, often banged up and at best a special teamer

    Also corner isn’t as big of a need as some may think.
    -McCourty should bounce back given the offseason to get healthy
    -Dowling looked solid in limited starting action
    -Moore will continue to develop
    -Arrington is a decent cover guy w. a good nose for the ball

    Dline will be ok
    -Scott/Carter/Cunningham compete for Andersons role
    -possible return of Carter
    -Fanene will do work in this defense next to VW

    • TD says:

      Get a pass rusher and suddenly that secondary won’t look so bad. I don’t care if the rush is coming from up the middle from a DT or the outside from an OLB/DE.

      If they’re not going to get a better pass rush, they better get better some secondary personnel with some coverage skills. I do like the idea of Chung playing center field and having a bigger safety come in and play in the box though.

      With BB calling the shots I’ve learned to not lock in one one player, or position for that matter, or you’ll be disappointed. So I’m going to say address defense with that first pick wherever it may be. Any position on defense. Just preferably not an ILB.

    • Jeff says:

      I agree that CB isn’t as big a need as it’s being made out to be. Remember, McCourty played hurt much of last year. Dowling barely played at all, and Sterling Moore only contributed at the end for a few games. If all of those guys are fully healthy at the start of the season, it’s a different group altogether. And that’s before factoring in Arrington and newly added Will Allen.

      But I disagree on d-line. I think we need an infusion of young talent there. I also think an athletic LB who can cover backs and TEs is a need.

    • qwerty says:

      i agree that patriots don’t need anything much except having carter resigning and staying healthy thru playoffs and maybe add one db for depth. they do have opportunity of upgrading some places and building for future in others but patriots are generally well stocked.

    • qwerty says:

      Since there are so many good young WR, it will be hard to resist taking one in order to eventually replace the aging ones.

    • Ryan says:

      I think we almost have to look at the RG position. Granted we have Cannon, but I consider him more of a tackle. After next year, Waters and Gallery will be gone. I think Bill takes a OG early should one slip to him.

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