A year after the most infamous draft bust of all-time, the Patriots still have some major holes to fill.
So far, the roster is still stacked, with the biggest addition to the roster coming in the form of left tackle Nate Solder.
He joins a group of promising young offensive linemen.
But there are also questions around the secondary and in the backfield.
Here’s how the team’s offseason has gone.
Will the Pats be a Super Bowl contender?
After losing four of the first five games of the season, the New England Patriots finished the year with the second-best record in the AFC.
The team was the only undefeated team in the league, which is what was expected of them.
The Patriots also finished in the top 10 in the NFC.
It’s possible the Patriots will make it into the playoffs.
If they don’t, the next four seasons will be about rebuilding.
But if the Patriots make the playoffs, they’re going to have to build on what they did in 2015 and 2016.
Will they have to rebuild the secondary?
There’s no denying that the Patriots’ secondary is one of the deepest in the NFL.
They had two of the league’s top five safeties in Devin McCourty and Brandon Browner, and two of its top five cornerbacks in Josh Norman and Brandon Flowers.
But the secondary struggled mightily at times in 2016.
New England finished the season with seven interceptions and only one interception return for a touchdown.
That doesn’t even include cornerback Logan Ryan, who had a breakout season, playing in all 16 games.
The problem with the secondary was that it was constantly exposed.
That’s why it’s been a big focus for the team over the offseason.
But a few additions are starting to come in.
Cornerback Malcolm Butler has played well in coverage this season, and there is a chance he could be the No. 2 safety in 2017.
He is a natural fit on the outside, as he can play outside and in press coverage.
He has shown a knack for making the play on balls thrown his way.
Safety Marcus Gilchrist, who was a surprise early round pick, could also be a big part of the defense.
The other safety, Malcolm Butler, is a big target for Rob Gronkowski.
He had one of his best seasons last year with 16 touchdowns, but he was hurt last year and didn’t have the impact he has this year.
Butler has shown that he can be an impact player for the Patriots.
Can the Patriots continue to get better?
After a shaky season in 2015, the team has made strides.
They were the only unbeaten team in NFC South and were able to improve their record to 6-3.
But they didn’t finish the season well either, finishing 2-12.
If the Patriots can continue to improve and improve in key areas, they should be in the running to win the AFC East.
Can they be the team to beat in the playoffs?
If the Pats don’t make the postseason, it will be a rebuilding year for the organization.
But that’s not a problem, because there are some areas where they are already improving.
Cornerbacks are a big one.
Safety Devin McCourty is one.
He played well against the Patriots in the Super Bowl and was an All-Pro last year.
He was one of three cornerbacks who finished with at least four interceptions.
Corner back Kyle Arrington has shown some improvement in coverage, but is still learning the position.
The defense has been able to replace veteran cornerbacks Kyle Aranda and Darrelle Revis, which helps the defense improve even more.
Corner running back LeGarrette Blount was a huge part of last year’s championship, and he was the team lead back in 2015.
The addition of safety Brandon Browners should also help the defense make plays down the field.
There is no question that the secondary will need to improve.
The offensive line needs help too.
The 2016 season was a disaster, and the offensive line wasn’t a great fit for the offense.
The offense was supposed to run through the middle, but that didn’t happen and the Patriots struggled to generate big plays downfield.
The biggest question will be whether or not quarterback Tom Brady can be more efficient in the pocket and how he’ll be able to throw the ball when it counts most.
How many players are on the roster?
The Patriots have some talented young players.
The top three players in the 2018 draft are all coming back from injuries.
There are two top-three players coming off the board.
Safety Nate Solders and center Mike Adams are coming off major injuries, but they have experience at the position, and are the only two players coming back who started for the first time in their careers.
There also are three players who were on the 53-man roster last year but were waived by the Patriots before the season.
Cornerstones Nate Sold, Brandon Brown, and Devin McCurley are