New England Patriots: Needs Assessment

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New England Patriots: Needs Assessment

William Glasser, creator of Choice Theory, defines the four human needs as Survival, Love, Power, and Freedom. The Patriots have similar needs a month before the NFL Draft and a month after the onset of Free Agency.


Survival

As we saw in Superbowl XLII, the offensive line is key to Tom Brady and ultimately the Patriots' survival. While there were some holes exposed in that game, the o-line had a great year. An upgrade would be possible at RT where Nick Kazcur had a tough time with some of the quicker DEs in the league. Expect an OT prospect to be taken with one of our two third-round picks.


Love

The Patriots fans love the skill players for the Patriots. We are obviously set with starters at QB, RB, WR, and TE, however, each position could use an infusion of quality depth. Chris Johnson, a tailback from East Carolina, could be in the Patriots' plans late in the first day.


Power

The front seven of the New England, especially the defensive line, are the power behind the Patriot's defense. The difference between the line and the linebackers is that the former sports five guys on the upside of their career, while the latter sports no starters on the good side of 30. That is taking nothing away from Bruschi, Thomas, Vrabel, and Seau, who played their guts out last year. Look for multiple LB's to show up on the draft board in Foxboro.

Freedom

Asante Samuel and Randall Gay gained theirs this off-season, signing nice contracts in the NFC. Cornerback is still a concern, despite bringing in free agent help in Fernando Bryant. Expect Pioli and Co. to target some versatile CB/S hybrids in this years draft, perhaps even with the No. 7 pick.


With approximately $10 million dollars in cap room, the Patriots still control their destiny for the 2008 season. The NFL draft should help flesh out what that destiny will look like.
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