We need major upgrade for interior defensive line. Probably have to draft for this though we could also sign FAs here as we are thin and lack top-end talent here
We need an outside receiver and drafting one will come a heck of a lot cheaper than signing a FA. Pats seem to struggle to find receivers who can play in our scheme via either avenue. Chad Jackson, Taylor Price, Brandon Tate were our recent attempts to draft talent and Chad Johnson, Joey Galloway are examples where we have struggled to sign talent.
We need a #1 CB so that Dennard is the #2. Talib could probably be franchised and traded and we could get back our 4th round pick. Acquiring team could sign him to a longer term deal.
Right side of the offensive line and even center could be upgraded.
1. I like a couple of Buffalo Bills UFAs: Jairus Byrd (S) and Andy Levitre (RG)
2. I like some of the DTs available: Randy Starks (Miami), Henry Melton (Bears), and even RFA Arthur Jones (Balt) except we don't know where they will tender him - he was selected in the 5th round, but we don't have 4th/5th/6th round picks.
3. Outside of Talib, there isn't much available at CB, so may need to draft this position... again. So either sign/franchise Talib or go fishing in the draft pool. Sean Smith (Miami) and Keenan Lewis (Steelers) would both be OK at #2 CB but they will probably get paid like a #1 CB due to the dearth of talent at this position leaguewide.
4. Shaun Phillips can still play OLB got nearly double-digit sacks and is great in coverage... liability against the run... might fit for us in sub-defense.
Plan for draft:
1. Can't get young talented interior pash rushers or ends in free agency without paying a ton. So draft best defensive lineman available. (1st round)
2. Get a young WR affordable and under team control for 4 years. (2nd round)
3. Draft a right tackle. (3rd round)
Later round picks/UDFA:
1. KR/PR: always a need even if they get Edelman back, as he is often injured. Someone with enough speed and hands to run a fly route better than Matthew Slater.
2. K : Gostkowski carries a big cap number and if they are squeezing to patch all their holes they can't pay that much for a kicker.
3. FB/TE: after the Spenser Larsen/Tony Fiametta experiments last year, maybe they can find a blocking back later on. Gronk is #1 TE/ Ballard is #2 TE / Hernandez is more of a slot WR than a TE (HB). Fells is paid too much though if he took a pay cut, we could keep him. Hooman is OK, but we could probably find lots of cheaper alternatives later on in the draft or UDFA for practice squad.
4. C: Wendell is OK. Connolly and Nick McDonald can backup, but a C with more size, like Ted Larsen that got away to Tampa when we tried to sneak him onto the practice squad.
5. Big-WR/Small-TE that projects to play outside receiver.