The biggest change to the New England Patriots this offseason is probably not one on the field but in their coordinators. The team lost Josh McDaniels and a few front office members to the Las Vegas Raiders. What is interesting is that the Patriots have not even named an offensive coordinator, noting that Matt Patricia and Joe Judge may split duties.
On one hand, it is two former coaches, on the other, it is a former defensive coordinator and special teams coordinator, both were fired for not having a good offense.
New England Patriots offense
The Patriots added Bailey Zappe, but before anyone gets too excited, he profiles as a long-term backup, almost like a Trevor Siemian type of player. Mac Jones had a rookie season that had some fans wondering if he is a better NFL quarterback than Justin Fields. Now, the Pats have their chance to add depth around him.
At running back the Patriots added Pierre Strong, and Kevin Harris. This is interesting to note as the two are contrasting runners, Strong being mich quicker, Harris being a grinder between the tackles. Still, the Patriots have Damien Harris, and Rhamondre Stevenson as well as James White. They even brought in J.J. Taylor the year prior, so they have depth in bulk. Could the team trade James White?
The Patriots knew they needed to add wide receivers, and added Devante Parker, and Tyquan Thornton. Thronton was looked at as a reach, but they traded up to pick 50 to take a wideout, while the Chicago Bears let Velus Jones fall to pick 71. It would be interesting to see fans’ reactions if they traded up, but for a wideout, they were not as high on, as Thornton.
Either way, Thornton is what the Pats lineup needs, especially because Kendrick Bourne and Jakobi Meyers are very slow by NFL standards. Parker is not a separation artist either, so between Thornton and Nelson Agholor they need some type of deep threat. They also still have the two tight ends they spent on the last offseason, so the speed component is needed.
On the offensive line, the team essentially moved out Shaq Mason and picked up Cole Strange. The move was surprising, but they hit big on Mason and his development, so perhaps they see similarities.
New England Patriots defense
On defense, they swapped out Chase Winovich for Mack Wilson, moving an edge for a linebacker. This could be a replacement for D’onta Hightower in some ways.
Malcolm Butler, Jack Jones, and Marcus Jones were all added on the defensive side of the ball and all offer slot and outside versatility. In exchange, the team lost J.C. Jackson. The depth is a plus, the loss of star talent and adding Butler who did not play last year is a questionable move.
They also signed Jabrill Peppers, who may step into the box and improve their presence, along with Wilson.
That is because they have Adrian Phillips, Kyle Dugger, and Devin McCourty at safety. Upfront Christian Barmore, and Matt Judon should lead the group.