Defensive end Chandler Jones and linebacker Dont'a Hightower were drafted in the first round to attempt to improve a defense that was near the bottom of the league in yards allowed per play last season. The Patriots also used their second round pick on safety Tavon Wilson, their third round pick on defensive end Jake Bequette, and late-round picks on safety Nate Ebner and corner Alfonzo Dennard.
Jonathan Fanene was the team's biggest free agent splash on defense to provide interior pass rush help, but he was already released due to allegedly failing to disclose a preexisting injury. Steven Gregory was also brought in to add depth to the safety position, which became so thin last season that wide receiver Matthew Slater converted to defense to try to shore up the position.
With the meaningless preseason now concluded, here are some of the Patriots' biggest strengths and weaknesses on paper as the season approaches.