Tuesday, February 4, 2014
Top Offseason Question: Patriots
By ESPN.com staff
To help prime you for what promises to be an action-packed offseason, we polled Insider's experts -- Bill Polian, Mel Kiper, Todd McShay, Herm Edwards, Louis Riddick, Ron Jaworski and Mike Sando -- on the 50 most pressing questions facing the league in the months ahead. Ranging from league-wide issues to nitty-gritty roster fixes, there's something for each and every one of the league's 32 teams.
Is this the most important Patriots draft in years?Mel Kiper: Not really. The Patriots have needs, but they also suffered some key injuries and will get good players back in 2014. For instance, in terms of performance you could say they need to add a linebacker, but they’re going to get a great one back when Jerod Mayo returns healthy. I count 13 rookies playing for the Patriots in 2013, so they should have a lot of internal roster development. Why this draft is important is they have to be looking at Tom Brady’s window and looking for impact, but I think that was also the case last year, so I don’t think Bill Belichick is thinking this draft is somehow more important than previous years. They’ll stick with a proven philosophy.