The New England Patriots are the defending Super Bowl champions, but that doesn’t mean they don’t have holes to fill in the NFL Draft in order to bolster their chances of repeating. The Pats got by last season with a wide receiver corps which was arguably subpar but was ultimately lifted by the late season heroics of quarterback Tom Brady. And stalwart Vince Wilfork has left the building, signing elsewhere and forcing New England to reevaluate its defensive line strategy heading into the draft.
One key for the New England Patriots heading into the draft is whether the NFL will penalize the team by taking away any of its 2015 draft picks as punishment for the “DeflateGate” controversy in which the team allegedly deflated footballs in the AFC Championship in the hopes of gaining a competitive advantage. But the league should either punish or exonerate the Patriots before the draft, meaning they’ll know heading into the weekend what they have to work with.
So will the New England Patriots opt to bolster their defensive front seven and try to repeat as Super Bowl champions the old fashioned way, or will they upgrade Tom Brady’s weapons at either wide receiver or running back in the upper rounds of the NFL Draft? That much will be answered soon enough.