In the coming weeks, Patriots fans should have a better understanding on this teams direction. By March 10, we should know if management strikes a deal with Darelle Revis, as well as if they put the franchise tag on Devin McCourty. If the Patriots do not extend Revis by March 10, they will be forced to either accept the $20 million club option, or release the All-Pro cornerback. March 10 is also the last day that teams can put the franchise tag on players. After this date, all players that are not signed for the 2015-2016 season become free agents.
Because of this, it is extremely difficult to expect what the Patriots are going to do in the 2015 NFL Draft. If the Patriots cannot retain Revis and McCourty, they will be in the market for a cornerback and free safety. If they sign the two superstars, they may be in the market for a kicker. Regardless, the Patriots have needs away from the secondary. They are not glaring needs, obviously, as the Patriots won the Super Bowl. However, there are always places where this team can improve and better themselves for championship #5.
One glaring need that most Patriots fans seem to forget about is the offensive line. Prior to Touchdown Tommy waking up and returning to form as the Greatest Quarterback of All Time, (That is right, Montana) many people were concerned that Brady would not last the whole season because he was getting hit so much. Even after the team woke up, there were many instances where Brady had to use those wheels of his to create a couple extra seconds. Although their sack numbers were astounding, Brady was knocked down frequently and Patriots fans and ownership alike don't want to see their 37 year old quarterback on his back 10 times a game. In the draft, the Patriots could easily pick up a quality guard in the later rounds to pressure the likes of Marcus Cannon and Cameron Fleming.
To flip around to the other side of the ball, the Patriots could also use help on the defensive line. We saw a very noticeable lack of pass rush against offensive lines throughout the season, specifically against Green Bay and Seattle. Although Chandler Jones looks to be promising, he was sidelined with an injury for the better part of this year and needs to have a bounce back 2015-2016. The interior line, while talented, is also a place of uncertainty. Vince WIlfork has another large cap hit and it is uncertain where Dominique Easley fits into this team when healthy. However, many promising defensive ends are set to hit the free agent market and the interior line is very prominent in this years class.
There are other areas that the Patriots may look, but one thing is for certain: if Bill Belichik can draft like he usually does and retain key free against, this team should return in Super Bowl 50.