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Patriots depth chart 2021: New England’s list of starters heading into Week 1 of regular season

The Patriots 2021 preseason got here to a detailed on Sunday night with a win over the New York Giants and now it is full steam forward in direction of the common season. The Patriots spent the majority of the offseason retooling the roster by spending huge in free company and on the NFL Draft in hopes of bettering from a 7-9 marketing campaign they endured in 2020 that discovered them on the surface wanting in of the playoffs. With the exhibition season within the rearview mirror, it is now time for Invoice Belichick and firm to chop the roster right down to 53. 

The most important news of cutdown day was the release of Cam Newton, making Mac Jones the Week 1 starter. 

Beneath, you may discover a projection of that opening 53-man roster as we step a bit nearer to Week 1. 

Rookies shall be denoted with a (*).

Offense

What a distinction an offseason makes, proper? Essentially the most notable change for the Patriots offense comes at quarterback. In a shocking twist to cutdown day, Invoice Belichick minimize Cam Newton, leaving Mac Jones because the Week 1 starter. At the moment, Jones is the one QB on the roster, however the launch of Brian Hoyer was probably a procedural transfer with him being re-signed after this roster is solidified. 

In the meantime, New England dove headfirst into free company and inked two of the highest tight ends in the marketplace to primetime offers. Whereas Hunter Henry is technically listed behind Jonnu Smith on this depth chart, the 2 will probably be co-starters all through the season with the Patriots setting a base offense in 12-personnel. Henry shall be a extra conventional Y tight finish, Smith may be utilized as an H-back in sure conditions, giving the Patriots a layer to their offense that has been lacking for fairly a while. 

Elsewhere, the receiver unit has additionally seen a noticeable improve. Once more, New England was aggressive and signed each Kendrick Bourne and Nelson Agholor to contracts very early in free company. Each ought to slot into the beginning rotation whereas Jakobi Meyers appears to be like to construct off a breakout season in 2020 because the slot choice, presumably adopting routes left by the retired Julian Edelman. On the subject of this large receiver place, nonetheless, the X-factor is N’Keal Harry. He did make the opening roster and is on the lookout for a Yr 3 breakout each time he heals up from that shoulder damage. 

As for the offensive line, Joe Thuney (signed with Chiefs) and Marcus Cannon (traded to Texans) are the 2 notable departures. That stated, the workforce does have acquainted faces poised to take over at their former posts. New England struck a cope with the Raiders to reacquire offensive sort out Trent Brown, who’ll now transfer to the proper aspect of the O-line. In the meantime, second-year lineman Michael Onwenu is the probably candidate to line up alongside Isaiah Wynn and David Andrews at left guard.

Protection

The linebacker unit was an space that wanted some addressing by the Patriots this offseason and so they had been in a position to enhance that unit with some strong expertise. Matt Judon was New England’s first huge splash in free company on the defensive aspect this offseason and the previous Ravens linebacker’s balanced skillset will make him a captivating chess piece to comply with all year long. New England additionally introduced again linebacker Kyle Van Noy after a one-year absence as soon as he was launched by the Miami Dolphins. After all, the Patriots are additionally getting Dont’a Hightower again after the linebacker opted out of the 2020 season resulting from COVID considerations, which means that the protection is getting one in every of its principal leaders again into the fold, which ought to solely assist as they give the impression of being to regain the repute of being a top-flight protection in 2021. Arguably the speak of camp at that place, nonetheless, has been Josh Uche, who’s primed for a breakout 12 months. 

Jalen Mills can also be one other determine to look at this season. The cornerback was one other one of many Patriots’ huge free-agent signings this offseason, inking a $24 million contract. In Philadelphia, Mills confirmed the power to play each nook and security. That versatility may very well be on show throughout his first season in Foxborough, particularly after the membership misplaced Jason McCourty in free company. On prime of Edelman retiring this offseason, the Patriots additionally noticed Patrick Chung name it a profession. Chung had opted out of final season and now it’s going to be as much as Adrian Phillips and second-year security Kyle Dugger to fill his footwear on a extra everlasting foundation. 

Elsewhere within the secondary is the state of affairs with Stephon Gilmore. He was formally positioned on the PUP record, which means that he’ll miss the primary six week of the common season. 

Particular groups

Ok

Quinn Nordin

P

Jake Bailey

LS

Joe Cardona
Gunner Matthew Slater

KR

Gunner Olszewski

PR

Gunner Olszewski

J.J. Taylor

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