Oct 27, 2013; Oakland, CA, USA; Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders (88) runs in for the two point conversion against the Oakland Raiders during the fourth quarter at O.co Coliseum. The Oakland Raiders defeated the Pittsburgh Steelers 21-18. Mandatory Credit: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

Top Remaining Needs For The New England Patriots

Sep 7, 2013; Ann Arbor, MI, USA; Notre Dame Fighting Irish defensive lineman Louis Nix III (1) warms up prior to the game against the Michigan Wolverines at Michigan Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

The New England Patriots have made a few big moves thus far in free agency, addressing a few needs, while also leaving others unfilled. Here are the top three remaining needs for the Pats:

1. Wide Receiver

As of right now, Tom Brady’s starting wide receiver duo is Kenbrell Thompkins, and Danny Amendola. That just won’t cut it. The Pats have done great things to upgrade their defense, but it won’t matter if Brady doesn’t have the weapons to out-duel Peyton Manning in 2014.

New England has been talking with Julian Edelman throughout this free agency period, although there are several other teams interested. The real prize in my mind, is Emmanuel Sanders. He is better than Edelman, and may come cheaper. But for some reason, it doesn’t seem like the Patriots are pursuing him. Sanders has visited with several other teams, and (for some odd reason), he reportedly likes it down in Jacksonville.

It doesn’t really matter who it is at this point, but Bill Belichick needs to get Brady some weapons.

2. Defensive Tackle

New England has upgraded their secondary, but the defensive line has taken a step back. Vince Wilfork has asked to be released, which not only depletes the middle of their defense, but they lose a valuable leader in the locker room. Having a combination of Tommy Kelly, Sealver Siliga, and Chris Jones is solid, but the Pats still need to add more to that position. There aren’t many guys left in free agency that can make an impact, which leaves us with the draft. Louis Nix III out of Notre Dame seems to fit the Vince Wilfork mold perfectly, and I don’t think anyone would be surprised to see him selected by the Patriots come May.

3. Defensive End

Chandler Jones and Rob Ninkovich are firmly entrenched as the starters out on the edge, but reinforcements are still needed. Those two played 95% of the snaps last year, and were inconsistent in getting pressure on the quarterback throughout the season. If New England can add a veteran pass rusher, that pass defense may be the best in football. I think Julius Peppers would be a nice fit in Foxboro, and even though he won’t fit as well as Peppers would, Jared Allen is also available. Can you imagine Peppers, Jones, and Ninkovich all coming after Peyton this January? Scary stuff.

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Tags: Emmanuel Sanders Julian Edelman Julius Peppers Louis Nix III New England Patriots NFL Free Agency

  • Willy

    I normally agree with you but Sanders isnt better than Edelman (please also take into account his kick return abilities) and Sanders is prodominately an outside Receiver. Peppers isnt better than Allen & Allen is more diverse. I also disagree that there arent any good DT/NT’s left because there still is. I do agree that the Pats 1. Need another DE and 2. Need receiver help but what they need is an inside guy who’s better than Amendola (Edelman) & an outside guy (Sanders…). They can draft a TE (another need). Though I dont think they need it per se, Bill wants a coverage LB, so add that to the list.

    • Cyrus Geller

      Sanders is extremely versatile, can play inside and out. Yes, Edelman has him in special teams, but Sanders explosiveness is just something Edelman can’t compete with. Pats need some of that electricity instilled into their offense.

  • Willy

    Not arguing about Sanders abilities but their 2 different players really. I want Both players. Lose Amendola, use Edelman inside, use Sanders or J.Jones outside, draft a TE, continue to develop all your previous WR draft choices & I think that is your best offensive scenario.

    • Cyrus Geller

      You should give Amendola a second chance. Dude played through a torn groin all year. Wasn’t healthy after his week one outburst.

      • Willy

        If he were making $3m a year I probably would but he isnt so… He had an injury, as usual but doubt it was a tear of any kind or he wouldve had surgery, he isnt having any so… I will always be tough on high paid players. Pats should never have signed him but panicked over the Welker situation. Now that we’re stuck with him & hope he egets healthy & stays that way & rebuilds the lost trust with TB12. (1 target in AFC game, dropped).

        • Cyrus Geller

          His AFCCG was awful. But that was one game. I went over his tape a couple of weeks ago, and a lot of the time he was open, but Brady for some reason didn’t want to throw to him. I think he could have a big 2014.