The Patriots’ current roster is damn near flawless.
Of course, the Pats will make some cuts between now and the Sept. 7 regular season opener against Kansas City, but if this unit stays mostly in tact – the undefeated season talk is going to keep picking up steam.
The Pats had some holes heading into free agency and the 2017 NFL Draft, but they have seemingly addressed all of them. A look at positions that have improved, on paper, since the Pats won Super Bowl XLI.
Malcolm Mitchell may very well turn out to be the offensive version of Malcolm Butler, but it remains to be seen if the Georgia product can be a consistent outside threat for Tom Brady.
That’s why Brandin Cooks is here. Cooks gives Brady his best traditional wideout (read: not a slot guy) since Randy Moss.
Cooks had something of a down year statistically last season, but his big play capability was on display in several 2016 games. He had an 87-yard TD grab in October against Carolina, and receiving TDs of 65 and 45 yards against the Cardinals this past December.
Cooks is just 23-years-old, and you can pencil in a 90-catch, 1,200-yard, 10-TD catch season from him in 2017.
The Pats addressed this need with their first pick in last weekend’s draft – selecting Youngstown State defensive end, Derek Rivers. In most pre-Draft mocks, Rivers was a mid-second round pick – so getting him at the 19 spot in the third round was considered a bit of a steal for Bill Belichick.
In Round 4, the Pats again selected a D-end, grabbing Deatrich Wise from Arkansas.
The Pats grabbed a pair of tackles in the draft: Anthony Garcia from Troy, and Conor McDermott from UCLA. Garcia is noted for his ridiculous athleticism and McDermott is noted for his Nate Solder-like size at 6-foot-8. Not too long ago, offensive line was the No. 1 issue with this team. In 2017, it will likely be a strength due to the unit’s depth.