Around the NFL  

 

Projected 2014 starters: New England Patriots

Around The League predicts the Week 1 starting lineups for all 32 teams, analyzing the potential impact of each rookie class. Click here for the complete series breakdown.

New England Patriots Projected 2014 Starters
Offense
Defense
QB
DE
RB
DT
WR1
DT
WR2
DE
WR3
SLB
TE1
MLB
LT
WLB
LG
CB1
C
CB2
Alfonzo Dennard / Brandon Browner (post-suspension)
RG
SS
RT
FS


» The biggest change comes on defense, where the departure of Aqib Talib was reduced to an afterthought with the signing of Darrelle Revis. Forget that he once called Bill Belichick a "jerk." New England now boasts a trio of corners the equal of any in the AFC with Revis beside Alfonzo Dennard and former Seahawk Brandon Browner (post-suspension). The Patriots won't be tortured through the air this season.

» Last year's troubles along the defensive line will be helped by the return of a healthy Vince Wilfork and the drafting of tackle Dominique Easley. The rookie displayed streaks of three-technique dominance at Florida, but he's just eight months removed from an ACL tear and likely to see limited work out of the gate.

» Against expectations, New England didn't draft depth at tight end. If Rob Gronkowski is slow to return from knee surgery, look for the Pats to consider free agent Dustin Keller as a pass-catching threat alongside Michael Hoomanawanui. This attack wasn't the same without Gronk in the fold in 2013.

» If he can fend off young Kenbrell Thompkins and Aaron Dobson, former Panthers wideout Brandon LaFell has a solid shot at earning the No. 3 spot behind Julian Edelman and Danny Amendola. This group lacks star power, but Tom Brady has made it work with less in years past.

» We're still not convinced Ryan Mallett is on this roster come September. After New England drafted Brady's heir apparent in rookie Jimmy Garoppolo, Mallett -- entering his walk year -- will be shopped in a hurry if injuries render an opponent desperate at the position.

The latest "Around The League Podcast" breaks down all the big news and begins the search for the new Team of ATL.

Fan Discussion

NFL News
CONTENT
15