Brady No. 2 on PFT list; Pats are 7th

With training camps already kicking off, many in the media are taking one last chance to assess teams. With that in mind, ProFootballTalk.com is unveiling its preseason power rankings, and the Patriots come in at seventh on their ballot.

The thorough post examines the team's strengths, weaknesses, changes, camp battles and prospects for the upcoming season.

Highlighted among the strengths are Tom Brady and the offensive line, as well as Stevan Ridley and fellow third-year runner Shane Vereen.

Defensively, PFT notes the foundation built around Vince Wilfork, a strong linebacking corps, Devin McCourty and the potential development of Chandler Jones.

Among the weaknesses are the team's possible reliance on rookie pass-catchers and fallout from Alfonzo Dennard's recent arrest, as well as the need for more pass-rushers.

Four positions are noted in the camp battles, including cornerback (relating to the Dennard situation), right guard (where Marcus Cannon could challenge Dan Connolly), tight end and safety.

Though the Patriots have endured a tumultuous offseason of sorts, PFT stills pegs them as the prohibitive favorites in the AFC East, noting that they could well find themselves in the mix for the AFC crown once again this season.

In addition, PFT has released its top 100 players for the 2013 season using votes from media members around the country. The list was released in 25 player installments, with the final 25 named on Monday.

Brady finished second on the list, trailing only Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers. Brady was voted fourth on the NFL Network player poll of the top 100 players for 2013 and came in third on ESPN's Ron Jaworski's top quarterbacks list.

On ESPN's First Take on Monday morning, Stephen A. Smith and Skip Bayless debated Jaworski's rankings, which have Rodgers at No. 1. Bayless puts Brady in the top spot, arguing he is a better overall quarterback than Rodgers.

We'd argue that a case could be made for Brady, Rodgers and a small circle of others as the top player in the league, and it's clear that the soon-to-be 36-year-old remains one of the elite, regardless of position.

To see the full preview post, CLICK HERE.

And to view the PFT Top 100 players, CLICK HERE.