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Raiders and Patriots Biggest Needs by Logan Lepiscopo

NFL Teams Biggest Needs by Draft Order

NFL writer Logan Lepiscopo continues to bring a series that will contain every NFL team’s biggest need heading into the NFL draft. Each article will consist of two teams going in draft order. This article will be about the Las Vegas Raiders and the New England Patriots (It was a fumble). If a team has multiple first-round picks the team that originally owned that pick will be covered, to avoid repetitiveness and ensure all 32 teams have been written about. Logan Lepiscopo will also give his “perfect/ideal” draft for each and every NFL team. 

New England Patriots: Cornerback

  1. The New England Patriots found themselves back into the playoffs last year after what would be considered a down year for New England going off the franchise’s last 20 seasons. The Patriots have not done a ton of work during the offseason, resigning Trent Brown, Devin McCourty, Nick Folk, and Matthew Slater being the biggest moves by the team. Recently signed Jabrill Peppers will help in the safety department, but the cornerback position has gone from one of the best in the league to one of the weakest. Trading Stephon Gilmore last season, and this year not bringing back J.C. Jackson has left Malcolm Butler and Jalen Mills to be the starting corners for the team. Both Butler and Mills are past the point in their careers that they should be considered starting corners in the NFL. The next need for the Patriots is an edge rusher. Matthew Judon was a true force last season leading the team in tackles for a loss, quarterback hits, and sacks, but there was nobody even close in support. Quite honestly, any help on the defensive line will suffice, but I think it would be in the team’s best interest to add an edge rusher to compliment Judon. Last of the team’s three biggest needs is the interior offensive line, had the team brought back Shaq Mason this would not be on the list. Mac Jones is going into his second year and needs a strong offensive line to protect him and give him time to throw the ball. The team may not have the strongest WR group, which is another position I expect the Patriots to go after in the draft. But the interior of the offensive line needs to be revamped. Mike Onwenu only played 62% of snaps and started 8 games for the Patriots after playing and starting all 16 games his rookie season. Re-signed guard James Ferentz started just two games last season and played in three. With that lack of experience, if I was in the Patriots organization, offensive guards would be high on my draft board. (Mock Draft done at 5:08PM EST on 4/1/22) 

RD-1-Pick 21- IOL-Zion Johnson- Boston College

RD-2-Pick 54- ED-Cameron Thomas- San Diego State

RD-3-Pick 85- DL-Zachary Carter- Florida

RD-4-Pick 127- CB-Tariq Castro-Fields- Penn State

RD-5-Pick 170- CB-Damarri Mathis- Pitt

RD-6-Pick 200- LB-D’Marco Jackson- Appalachian State

RD-6-Pick 210- WR-Tanner Conner- Idaho State

Top player hitting free agency: Trent Brown (Resigned with Patriots)

Cap space: $5.05M

Las Vegas Raiders: Interior Offensive Line

  1.  As a Raiders fan I can say that this offseason has been one of the best in recent years. The Raiders got Chandler Jones to pair with Maxx Crosby at edge rusher, who also got a nice contract from the Raiders. They brought in Rock Ya-Sin via the Yannick Ngakoue trade, and easily the biggest move… trading for Davante Adams. But the Raiders have one issue that was not addressed at all during the offseason, the offensive line. It is a consensus the Raiders need help at each and every offensive line position (except left tackle), especially given Derek Carr was tied for the 5th most sacked quarterback in the league last season. After the offensive line holes that the team has, the defensive side of the ball still needs a ton of work. Adding Chandler Jones, Rock Ya-Sin, and Bilal Nichols is a great start, but there are still some significant holes in the defense. The Raiders still need an upgrade at the linebacker position, cutting Corey Littleton was a hit to the position but Denzel Perryman is still there to bring the veteran presence. Adding Jayon Brown and Kyler Fackrell are not bad moves, but I see both serving more as a backup/depth player role for the team. Adding more cornerback talent is important as well, the unit is solid right now with Rock Ya-Sin, Trayvon Mullen, Anthony Averett, and Nate Hobbs, but more talent can always be added with this loaded cornerback class. (Mock draft done at 2:30PM EST on 4/1/22)

RD-3-Pick 86- LB-Channing Tindall- Georgia 

RD-4-Pick 126- CB-Mario Goodrich- Clemson

RD-5-Pick 164- IOL-Cade Mays- Tennessee

RD-5-Pick 165- OT-Dare Rosenthal- Kentucky

RD-7-Pick 227- DL-Noah Elliss- Idaho

Top player hitting free agency: Casey Heyward (Signed with Falcons)

Cap space: $6.67M

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