By Tom E. Curran
This is the fifth in a series of looks at the Patriots' position-by-position needs after the draft, and who's available to fill them via free agency . . . whenever free agency might come. Today's position: Defensive line.
Vince Wilfork, Ty Warren, Marcus Stroud, Mike Wright, Ron Brace, Myron Pryor, Kyle Love, Brandon Deaderick, Landon Cohen, Kade Weston, Darryl Richard, Marlon Favorite.
Who's out there?
Cullen Jenkins (Packers), Stephen Bowen (Cowboys), Shaun Smith (Chiefs), Justin Bannan (Broncos), Kenyon Coleman (Browns), Jacques Cesaire (Chargers), Gerard Warren (Patriots), Shaun Ellis (Jets). What's the need?
From 1-10? Let's call it a5. The Patriots have an abundance of heft along their defensive line with Brace (330 pounds) Wilfork (350-plus), Cohen (305), Deaderick (300), Favorite (317), Pryor (310), Richard (295), Stroud (310), Weston (316), Wright (295)and Ty Warren (305). The rotation is deep and young. There are veterans and young guys. There are guys who generate pressure (Wright had 5.5 sacks, Pryor has a knack as well, it seems). Overall, it's a pretty solid group. I think Gerard Warren was really outstanding for them last year, but his contract expired and Marcus Stroud was brought aboard. I thought that was a dubious acquisition but was redirected by opposing GMs who assured me that Stroud can still play and is very professional. A good pickup. So what I'm getting at is, unless they unearth the new Seymour - a 6-6,, 310-pound chiseled guy who can anchor with ease, command double-teams and chase all over the field - the Patriots will only be duplicating what they have on their roster with most of the guys on the market.Who do they chase?
Gerard Warren will still be out there when free agency opens. He'd be a good get. Other than that, the 3-4, 5-technique ends would be the places the Patriots would seek. Coleman. Bannan, released by Denver as the Broncos switch to a 4-3. That ilk makes sense. Who do we look at next?