After finishing last season with a level of chemistry that hadn’t really been matched by a Patriots secondary in several seasons, Bill Belichick’s staff opted to keep the unit intact for at least one more run together. Yet, even with the starting corps of cornerbacks back in the mix, the Patriots could still select a corner in this week’s draft. It wouldn’t hurt to take advantage of a deep class, and there’s no shame in developing the bottom of the depth chart to avoid a significant drop-off in skill in the event of an injury. The Pats re-signed left cornerback Aqib Talib to a one-year, $5 million contract, and the prove-it deal should yield a nice return on the investment as he showcases himself before trying to earn a bigger payday next offseason. Kyle Arrington, a slot specialist who can also play on the right side, remained in town on a four-year, $16 million contract. And second-year corner Alfonzo Dennard escaped jail time in 2013 after his guilty verdict for assaulting an officer, so he’ll be ready to roam the right side again. While the Patriots must be happy to have their starting trio in tow, they have to be cognizant of the possibility Talib will bolt next year, so it would be a luxury to have his potential replacement in uniform for a full season. Plus, both Talib and Dennard missed significant time due to injury last season. The draft class’ consensus top pick is Alabama’s Dee Milliner, and he’ll be gone in the top 10. Florida State’s Xavier Rhodes and Houston’s D.J. Hayden should also be off the board before the Pats are up at No. 29, but Boise State’s Jamar Taylor and Washington’s Desmond Trufant, who have both visited Gillette Stadium, could be solid options in the opening round. Mississippi State’s Johnthan Banks is also a possibility.
Patriots may peek around the corner
Boston Herald | Apr 23