With the Patriots coming off another tough loss to the Giants in the Super Bowl, it’s time to look forward to the off season and draft. Since predicting what Bill Belichick will do in the draft is near impossible, let’s look at some needs that could be filled through free agency and trades. The needs that are the most pressing are defensive pass rusher and wide receiver. Let’s look at some possibilities the Patriots could pursue to fill these holes.I know these aren’t all the Patriots needs, and will address two more positions in a later post.

Pass Rusher- With Andre Carter’s future unknown coming off an injury and Mark Anderson emerging as a threat, adding another pass rusher would go a long way to take pressure off the secondary.

John Abraham

Would give the Patriots their first real pass rusher in a long time. Had 35 tackles and 9.5 sacks this season on limited playing time. 33 years old but hasn’t lost any quickness. Always a threat when on the field. Chances are that he will probably get resigned by the Falcons.

Robert Mathis

43 tackles and 9.5 sacks last season. Look for Mathis to explore his options in free agency if it turns out that Manning isn’t going to be playing for the Colts. Tom Brady would much rather have this guy on his team than lining up across from him when the Patriots play the Colts.

Calais Campbell

Campbell had 72 tackles and 8 sacks during the 2011 season. Campbell was the best defensive player on the Cardinals this season, so the Cardinals are going to try their hardest to resign him. Cardinals don’t like to pay though, and Campbell is going to be looking for a raise after this season. He’s might to be happy about getting franchised if that’s the way the Cardinals decide to go. Might open up the door for a trade proposal from the Patriots.

Wide Receivers– Resigning Wes Welker should be the first off season move by the Patriots. Signing a big, physical receiver should be their second move. Adding a big receiver, who’s a threat outside the hash marks, would allow Brady more options and open up the door for Gronkowski and Hernandez to be even more dangerous.

Vincent Jackson

9 TD’s with over 1,000 yards last season. Jackson is a big, physical receiver who can go up and get the ball even if he’s covered. With Welker and Gronkowski as huge middle of the field threats, the addition of Jackson would spread the field greatly with Hernandez. Jackson’s got good hands to go along with the jumping ability to out jump any secondary. Would be a huge addition to the passing game.

Reggie Wayne

Wayne registered 4 touchdowns and a little under 1,000 yards last season without Peyton Manning. I’ve always said that Wayne is one of the most underrated receivers in the league. More of a finesse player than Jackson is, Wayne is a deep threat who has the hands to make the catches underneath as well.

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