Starters: Vince Wilfork, Brandon Deaderick
Top Backups: Kyle Love, Marcus Forston, Armond Armstead
There's no question that Vince Wilfork is the MVP of the Patriots defense, but Wilfork is past 30 years old and won't be the same dominant player forever. The Patriots not only need to look toward the future but building depth as well, so they won't have to rely on big Vince has heavily.
Kyle Love started the season next to Wilfork but was surpassed by Brandon Deaderick around Week 12. Per Pro Football Focus, their total snaps for the season were Love 592, Deaderick 468.
Also, according to Pro Football Focus' metrics, Love was better in run defense (5.1 compared to -5.3), but Deaderick was slightly better (but still not good) in pass rush (-3.5 compared to -4.8).
Both players were fairly comparable, and while Love had an overall more solid season, the Patriots should not hesitate to upgrade the defensive tackle spot with multiple players this offseason.
Armond Armstead was just added on Tuesday, according to Mike Reiss and Mike Rodak of ESPN, and he looks like just what the hoodie ordered.
At 6'5", 300 pounds, he should be able to contribute both on the inside and outside of the defensive line. Adam Schefter of ESPN called him "the equivalent of a high draft pick." Two days after their season ended and the Patriots are already taking positive steps to round out their roster.
Wilfork will be a huge key again in 2013, but finding some complementary pieces next to him could be the easiest way to upgrade the defense instantly.