Patriots discussion: Musket Fire Roundtable 5/26

Jim O'Connor-USA TODAY Sports
Jim O'Connor-USA TODAY Sports /
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Tom Brady Patriots
Jim O’Connor-USA TODAY Sports /

This week’s Thursday Roundtable topics include weighing the offense and defense, the three undrafted cornerbacks, the “Big Three” 2017 free agents, who might be the 2015 version of Dion Lewis, and NFC West competition in 2016. Enjoy:

Cyrus Geller – The Patriots are loaded on both sides of the ball this year, both with the potential to be in the top five in the league by season’s end. Which unit will ultimately end up ranked higher?

Jaydeen Allen – Have to think the offense is the obvious answer here. It’s laughable to believe that a team led by Tom Brady throwing to the likes of Rob Gronkowski, Martellus Bennett, Julian Edelman and a healthy Dion Lewis would be outside of the top 3 offenses in the league. On paper, it seems that with those four on the field, in addition to having solid options in Danny Amendola, Clay Harbor, and Chris Hogan, the Patriots’ offense could very well give defensive coordinators a nightmare.

Kirk von Kreisler – This is a great question. Both sides are incredibly talented and could lead the league in many categories. As of now, my gut says the defense will likely end up ranked higher. On offense, the run game and offensive line are still questions to be answered. Also, health is a factor on the offensive side with Julian Edelman, Danny Amendola, and Dion Lewis still rehabbing. On the defensive side, we’ll get to see an increased role for Jabaal Sheard, who had an insane amount of pressures for his role last season, and we’ll see the development of the young corners and Malcom Brown. Not to mention the proven studs, Jamie Collins, Dont’a Hightower, Devin McCourty, Patrick Chung, and more. The offense will likely be a top-five unit, but there are just a few question marks that make me more weary than the state of the defense currently.

Connor Fulton – While it’s tempting to go with the offense because of all the talent being stockpiled, the Patriots’ defense is starting to look scary. You have three players in the top ten of their position operating in contract years: Malcolm Butler, Dont’a Hightower and Jamie Collins. You have veteran mainstays Devin McCourty, Rob Ninkovich, Jabaal Sheard, Logan Ryan and Alan Branch. You have promising sophomore pros Malcom Brown and Geneo Grissom coming up through the ranks. The list goes on… the Patriots’ defense is going to be character of the 2016 Patriots.

Next: Hal wonders which undrafted CB might make roster