Originally written on DraftAce  |  Last updated 11/18/14

Matt Peterson tracks the offseason needs of every team in the league. Today’s franchise, the New England Patriots. [full archive here]

Season Recap: The Patriots, once again, were one of the best teams in the league, and had it not been for a dropped pass, a fourth Super Bowl ring could easily be resting on Tom Brady’s pinky finger (middle or index, for that matter). The most interesting aspect of the Patriots 2011 season is the fact they did so well while giving up the 2nd most yards allowed. With a revamped defense this offseason; New England very may be the favorites in 2012.

Team Needs:
1. Wide Receiver: Even with the recent franchise tag on Wes Welker, New England simply needs more options. The stud duo of Aaron Hernandez and Rob Gronkowski would be even more dangerous with a vertical deep threat to open up the outside. The Patriots have a plethora of options to solving this problem. New England has 6 picks in the first four rounds, with four selections in the first and second round alone! The best move may be to give up pick 31 for Mike Wallace, who was tendered for a first round pick by the Pittsburgh Steelers. Wallace would give Brady perhaps the best deep threat in the game. If New England decides against Wallace, they can choose from Desean Jackson, Vincent Jackson, Brandon Lloyd, Marques Colston, Dwayne Bowe, Reggie Wayne, or Robert Meachem. Not too shabby.

2. Defensive End: Andre Carter exceeded expectations as a 32 year old, low-signing free agent, recording 10 sacks in 14 games. Carter is coming off a torn Quadriceps tendon, and is a scheduled free agent. Even if he does return to form, the Patriots need a difference maker. Mario Williams dominated in his first five games in the 3-4 defense before a season ending injury, and could be headed to New England. That would be scary.

3. Strong Safety: Patrick Chung is set at FS, but the Patriots need to find him a counterpart. James Ihedigbo played serviceable, but is a scheduled free agent and is better suited as a backup. Laron Landry is a free agent and when healthy is one of the better strong safeties in the league.

4. Outside Linebacker: The Patriots toiled between a 3-4 and 4-3 defense in 2011, but with All-Pro NT Vince Wilfork in the middle, the 3-4 is the better option. Mario Williams could fill this role with ease, but if New England wants a cheaper option they could fill the void in the early rounds. Andre Branch and Bruce Irvin are names to keep an eye on.

5. Cornerback: New England dealt with numerous injuries at the CB position and were forced to play WR Julian Edelman in the slot for most of the season. Waiver wire pickup Sterling Moore played brilliantly in the playoffs, but is not proven enough to be counted on for 2012. Brandon Carr and Cortland Finnegan are the top free agent corners available. Brandon Boykin, a corner from Georgia, will be in heavy consideration for one of the Patriots two first round selections.

GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

WATCH: Masai Ujiri fires up Raptors fans with expletive

Andre Johnson: Signing with Colts not about revenge

Pete Rose joining FOX as baseball analyst

Josh Hamilton filed for divorce around time of relapse

Isaiah Thomas once peed himself to avoid subbing out

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Report: ESPN employees want Britt McHenry fired

WATCH: Raptors fans shower Paul Pierce with vulgar taunts

Report: Vikings want first-rounder, starting CB for Peterson

Report: Jarret Stoll arrested for possession of drugs

CJ Wilson: Josh Hamilton’s relapse a ‘tame scenario’

Head coaching candidates for the Denver Nuggets

Sabres GM not happy about losing draft lottery

Yordano Ventura ejected for plunking Brett Lawrie

Five early takeaways from the 2015 MLB season

WATCH: Female Cubs fan catches foul ball in beer cup, chugs it

WATCH: Cardale Jones throws ball 74 yards during contest

Shaka Smart was quite popular at the Texas spring game

Ohio State sets spring game attendance record

WATCH: Bubba Watson raps on Christian rap track

WATCH: Jags mascot wins closest to pin at Sawgrass

Notre Dame wears 'Father Ted' patches during spring game

Five things to watch during the NBA Playoffs

Hanley Ramirez put hole in Green Monster during BP

NFL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Josh Hamilton filed for divorce from wife

Report: McHenry's coworkers want her fired

WATCH: Raptors fans taunt Paul Pierce

Five things to watch in NBA Playoffs

Report: Jarret Stoll busted for drugs

CJ Wilson: Hamilton is 'ready to go'

Leaked Clippers jersey redesigns

Tequila Patron Sports Car Showcase preview

Home runs ruined our ability to appreciate production

Why we love the NFL draft

The "worst" player on each NBA playoff team

Jim Harbaugh showed up at Ultimate Frisbee practice

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.