Head Coach: Bill Belichick
It’s hard to feel bad for Pats fans; I have kids in college who have been watching them win Super Bowls their entire lives. But still… they lost Brady, and found hope immediately in Cam Newton…. and then spent the year being reminded that Cam kind of sucks now. The D wasn’t quite as good as we’re used to…. opt outs and injuries contributed quite a bit there…. But was still solid. 7 wins was actually pretty impressive when you look at what Belichick had to work with.
2021 Draft Picks
1-15 QB Mac Jones, Alabama
2-38 DT Christian Barmore, Alabama
3-96 DE Ronnie Perkins, Oklahoma
4-120 RB Rhamondre Stevenson, Oklahoma
5-177 LB Cameron McGrone, Michigan
6-188 DB Joshuah Bledsoe, Missouri
6-197 G William Sherman, Colorado
7-242 WR Tre Nixon, Central Florida
Mac Jones wasn’t supposed to be around when the Pats picked, but he slid all the way to #15. As mentioned in the Miami preview, ‘Bama QBs tend to be system QBs who fail in the NFL, but there are enough similarities between he and Brady to think he may buck that trend. They loaded up on defensive prospects, a couple of whom may see significant playing time in 2021.
Key Pick Ups
Jonnu Smith – TE (from Titans)
Hunter Henry – TE (from Chargers)
Nelson Agholor – WR (from Raiders)
Matthew Judon – LB (from Ravens)
Kendrick Bourne – WR (from 49ers)
No team made as big a splash in free agency as New England. We all saw what Belichick did with 2 Pro Bowl TEs a few years ago; Henry and Smith could bbe the sequel. Aguilar will stretch the field, and while Bourne is no Edelman, he’ll produce numbers from the slot.
Julian Edelman – WR (retired)
Marcus Cannon – OT (to Texans)
Edelman is a legend, but it was time, and Cannon didn’t play last year.
Offensive Coordinator: Josh McDaniels
2020 Points Scored: 326 (27th)
New England’s O Line will again be among the league’s best. The recieving corps is stocked. The committee approach of RBs is locked and loaded. One small question remains… Do they throw the rookie to the wolves, or start a QB who’s best days are behind him?
Defensive Coordinator: None
2020 Points Allowed: 353 (7th)
The D should be back to full strength, and should again be near the top of the league. That will make it easier on whoever winds up under center.
Great special teams are a trademark of the Patriots. 2021 should’t be any different.
If Things Go Well
The D returns to form, and one or other of the QBs goes to work with the new receiving corps. Welcome back to the post season, Pats fans.
If They Don’t
The Qb position is a disaster, a possibility with either guy. You can’t win in this NFL if you can’t score.
As you may have guessed, the Patriots success is going to be decided under center. Neither looks like a great option, but if there’s one coach who can get a playoff trip out of one of them it’s Belichick.
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