The New England Patriots roster is pretty much set heading into the dog days of the NFL offseason following the 2023 NFL Draft. While the team may make a few changes around the edges between now and late July when the Patriots training camp kicks off, the bones of the team are solid right now. Here we are going to look at the updated Patriots depth chart with every starter after the 2023 NFL Draft.
The entire Patriots’ roster had a frustrating experience during the 2022 season. Despite retaining most of their team from the previous season and having Mac Jones in his second year, the Patriots struggled to produce points on offense. They scored 98 fewer points than before while giving up 44 more points on defense. That said, their defense was still considered one of the best in the league. The offense, however, struggled to perform.
At times, backup quarterback Bailey Zappe seemed like a better fit for the offense than Jones. Still, due to the lack of explosiveness in the receiving corps when Tyquan Thornton was injured, and the predictability of the play-calling, neither quarterback had a chance to succeed. It felt like each drive was disjointed. In addition, the Pats just failed to take advantage of the talent at their disposal.
Looking ahead, the addition of new offensive coordinator Bill O’Brien and rookie cornerback Christian Gonzalez not only enhances the offensive scheme but also provides much-needed size and physicality at cornerback for the defense. Nevertheless, New England’s other moves leave much room for improvement.
Now let’s look at the updated New England Patriots depth chart with every starter after the 2023 NFL Draft.
Quarterback: Mac Jones
Running Back: Rhamondre Stevenson
Wide Receiver 1: DeVante Parker
Wide Receiver 2: JuJu Smith-Schuster
Wide Receiver 3: Tyquan Thornton
Tight End: Hunter Henry
Left Tackle: Trent Brown
Left Guard: Cole Strange
Center: David Andrews
Right Guard: Mike Onwenu
Right Tackle: Riley Reiff
RB Rhamondre Stevenson emerged as the standout player on the offense in 2022. He averaged an impressive 5.0 yards per carry and caught 69 passes throughout the year. Meanwhile, Thornton showed potential as a building block. He hauled in 22 receptions, while DeVante Parker had an impressive average of 17.4 yards per reception.
Jakobi Meyers also proved to be a reliable possession threat, but he’s no longer with the Patriots. Replacing him with JuJu Smith-Schuster may look like a bit of a risk, though. This is because the latter appeared slower during his time in Kansas City, unlike earlier in his career. The Patriots paid for his reputation and past performance. That was more influenced by his situation and opportunities rather than his talent. While it’s true that Smith-Schuster is talented, a receiving corps with him and Parker is physically limited.
The offense can be respectable if the receivers, including new addition Mike Gesicki, are rotated effectively. The ground game is expected to remain a strength with a robust set of linemen who excel at run-blocking. However, their pass protection is not as strong. Unfortunately, Jones will have to face another season behind two subpar tackles. Moving forward, that could haunt the team throughout the season.
What a magical time in #Patriots football. Mac Jones and Kendrick Bourne were awesome in 2021.
Need this back in 2023.
— Chase (@Chase6D) May 4, 2023
Defensive End: Deatrich Wise Jr.
Defensive Tackle: Christian Barmore
Defensive Tackle: Davon Godchaux
Defensive End: Keion White
Strong-side Linebacker: Josh Uche
Middle Linebacker: Ja’Whaun Bentley
Weak-side Linebacker: Matthew Judon
Cornerback 1: Christian Gonzalez
Cornerback 2: Jonathan Jones
Nickel Corner: Marcus Jones
Strong Safety: Kyle Dugger
Free Safety: Jabrill Peppers
The Patriots’ defense was intriguing in 2022. That’s despite having an unorthodox setup. Matt Judon played at an All-Pro level, while Josh Uche had an impressive 11.5-sack season. Head coach Bill Belichick managed to make the secondary work, even though each of his top four corners was no taller than 5’10.
In typical Patriots fashion, they prioritized defense with their first three draft picks. This was much to the surprise of fans who were expecting them to focus on offensive weapons and a new offensive tackle.
Despite the surprising draft strategy, the Patriots had short- and long-term needs at cornerback, safety, and linebacker. We feel like they addressed these relatively effectively. Each player selected had the potential to be a freak athlete and a future blue-chipper.
The addition of these young talents to an already dominant pass rush and competitive secondary could potentially give the Patriots a contending defense in 2023. After years of struggling against the league’s more explosive passers, Belichick could be building a team that not only survives those matchups but also dictates the terms.
Kicker: Chad Ryland
Holder: Bryce Baringer
Long-snapper: Joe Cardona
Punter: Bryce Baringer
Punt return: Marcus Jones
Kick return: Marcus Jones
The Patriots continued to check off their rookie contracts. Take note that fourth-round selection Chad Ryland has become the fifth member of the 2023 draft class to sign a deal. The two sides reportedly agreed to terms Thursday night on a four-year, $4.626 million rookie contract. Ryland, 23, became the highest specialist Belichick ever drafted in his Patriots’ tenure. Recall that they traded up to pick No. 112 to select the kicker. He’ll be the focal point of the Patriots special teams in 2023.
After everything, the reality is that being stuck in the AFC East with the Dolphins, Bills, and Jets is a difficult task. The Patriots are rarely an easy foe, and they can win because of their tactical prowess. That said, there’s no doubt they’re the weakest team in the division, at least on paper.
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