The New England Patriots Should Draft On The Offensive Side Of The Ball


After losing Darrelle Revis and Brandon Browner in free agency, a lot of people think the New England Patriots should focus on the defensive side of the ball in the upcoming NFL draft. And while I do think they should spent a few picks on the defense, getting the offensive line solidified is much more important.

When you look at this Patriots’ offensive roster, there is only one hole, and that is the left guard spot. Dan Connolly was the starter last year, and he is currently a free agent looking for work. However even if the Pats bring Connolly back, I wouldn’t be completely comfortable with the interior of the offensive line for 2015. Rookie Bryan Stork was great last year, and Ryan Wendell was decent, but Connolly was the weak link, constantly getting beat up the middle, which is the number one way to disrupt a Tom Brady-led offense.

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So regardless of what happens with Connolly, I believe the Pats should draft one or two interior offensive lineman in this year’s draft, as high as the first round if needed. I am a big fan of Florida State’s Cameron Erving, who not only is a good, talented kid, but he is extremely versatile, which is a huge plus for Bill Belichick. I also like Duke’s Laken Tomlinson, who is a powerful, intelligent guy, although he is the opposite of Erving in terms of versatility, as Tomlinson has spent his entire career at right guard.

Tom Brady has a ton of weapons to work with next year, but if he doesn’t have a decent pocket to set up in, it won’t matter one bit. The Patriots have lost two Super Bowls because the offensive line couldn’t handle the Giants’ pass rush, and they very nearly lost another one last season. New England has a great duo on the edge in Nate Solder and Sebastian Vollmer, a stud at center in Bryan Stork, and a competent filler in Ryan Wendell. But they are missing one more impact player to solidify that line and make this offense the most dominating assault in the NFL in 2015.

If Bill Belichick decides to go with Cameron Erving in the first round, and Laken Tomlinson, or A.J. Cann in the second round, I would be fine with that. Having depth, and a lot of talent up front is what makes offenses great in the NFL, and when you combine that with the host of weapons Brady has to work, opposing defenses will be shaking in their boots.