Projecting the Patriots’ 53: Second edition - Patriots - Boston.com
In my second projection of the Patriots’ 53-man roster, there are a few slight changes for the team in key position groups. But what’s more, there is a conscious consideration of injuries and how they are already affecting the team through the first preseason game. See who’s up and who’s down since last week.
When looking at the 90 men on the Patriots roster, it’s easy to write off 30 as either inconsequential or on the bubble. But digging deeper, and taking into consideration the importance each has held last year and in years prior, then identifying a level of importance for what may seem like an innocuous list, one can find spotting the Top 10 Patriots is much more troublesome. Sprinkle in newcomers who will likely change the dynamic of this roster, and you have a mix of players that are both expected and unexpected leaders on this team. Of course, no one compares to Tom Brady. But who follows him in terms of importance? Take a look at what we came away with. (via the 10 most important Patriots in 2012)
"Now, following Belichick and company selecting Syracuse’s Chandler Jones and Alabama’s Dont’a Hightower with the 21st and 25th overall picks, the team has to fill other glaring holes for both the short and long term."
What remains following the departure of BenJarvus Green-Ellis (181 carries, 667 yards, 11 touchdowns in 2011-12) are question marks surrounding who will be the team’s lead running back. Also gone, yet lurking for a potential comeback, is Kevin Faulk. Who is left? Younglings Stevan Ridley, Shane Vereen and scat back Danny Woodhead, who are all looking to prove their mettle with more snaps and more exposure. Add into the equation veteran running back Joseph Addai and rookie free agent Brandon Bolden, and the Patriots have a cocktail mix of young, new, and unproven. As Patriots OTAs continue, here’s a look at this key group. (via Patriots roster evaluation: Running backs - Boston.com)
― Still value on board for Patriots - Extra Points - Boston.com
There’s no such thing as a dramatic improvement on 13-3. Yet it was right here in New England where that kind of conventional wisdom was turned on its head. After a 12-4 campaign in 2006, the Patriots scorched the Earth going 16-0, creating an illusion of perfection and mind-boggling year-over-year improvement in the regular season. Is it conceivable for the Patriots to improve enough, with the help of the 2012 NFL draft, to venture into that realm of dominance again? Is it possible for the Patriots’ defense to become stingy and opportunistic, rather than beckon for timely stops? Here are a few ideas on how they can get it done and attain the ever elusive Lombardi Trophy. Whether it’s in 2012 or beyond. (via 5 keys for the Patriots draft - Boston.com)
Before considering whether or not the Patriots will trade away either of their two picks (Nos. 27 and 31) in the first round of the 2012 NFL Draft, which is in the “likely” column, one first has to consider whether or not there is any value in staying put. The key word, as it always is for coach Bill Belichick and company, is value. Do the Patriots envision any more value in multiplying the picks they have in the second round (two, 48 and 62), or the third (93) and fourth rounds (126)? Doing so changes the board for the Pats dramatically. So when considering the Patriots draft prospects, one has to consider the positioning, the projected talent, and then begin throwing darts at a board. Here’s where our darts landed. (via Patriots draft prospectus - Boston.com)
Serious question: How much New England flavor do you see in the New York Giants? Answer: Quite a bit. A number of the Giants’ coaching staff and players have ties to the New England area, particularly to Boston College. Take a gander and see who hails from our neck of the woods and who played their college ball here. (via The Giant New England connections - Boston.com)