Okay so it might be a little bit early to get to this one but heck, it’s ages until training camp. Let’s just bear in mind this is very ambivalent. Lots of ‘ifs and buts and candy and nuts’ (as I like to say) but let us just dive right in, shall we!?
10. David Andrews
The legend, the man, David Andrews. This re-signing was key not only for the offensive line but for the Patriots team as a whole. Stability, a significant factor in the team and the line, this is definitely high up on importance in my book.
9. Nick Folk
Nick Folk everybody! Yeah, I said it, I don’t think you can deny it, you gotta give some kicker love out there. “Nicky baby” was consistent in 2020… consistently good, and that is important. Some may not feel it’s the case but, my perspective on the matter, a good kicker is integral and not as easy to come by as people think.
8. Matt Judon
Set that edge! Come on there, big guy. Earn your dollars. How many times last season did you hear sports media with their keys to the game state ‘set the edge?’ Well, Coach brought in a big guy to Set. That. Edge.
7. J.J. Taylor
With the possibility of a heavy running game system, and if not, a lot of tight endage for the passing game at seven, we have a running back. Which one? Well, there are a few, so you could take your pick! Damien Harris, top performer. Rhamondre Stevenson, powerful rookie ready to step in? J.J. Taylor, second year in the system, rookie undrafted free agent who has some skills and is ready to prove? A Clare Perspective choice is J.J. Taylor. The possible next man up from Rex Burkhead, some Patriots Way experience, and a good skill set. Come on, let’s see explosive runs.
6. Josh Uche
Rushing the passer, one serious key. So in the event of this definitive requirement, I put on this list at this spot, Josh Uche. Not only a significant piece of the Patriots’ developing defence, but this guy should also bring the heat and flatten many an NFL quarterback along the way. Hit hard and hit fast. LFG baby!
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5. Stephon Gilmore
Stephon Gilmore had to appear on this list somewhere and it actually is moot (for the sake of the list I mean) if he extends his contract or is traded because either way that will have a significant impact on the team this year and makes him an important component.
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4. Isaiah Wynn
Okay, at this point, I’m gonna cheat a smidge … It’s the left tackle position, which I thought, initially, would be great big hulking Trent Brown. I gotta say, if anyone is covering my blind side, personally, I’d want that guy. But looking over preliminary roster projections it is more likely to be Isaiah Wynn after the Patriots picked up the fifth-year contract option this May. That is not a bad thing I might add. So be it Mac or Cam (or Stidham!?) whoever the guy is in the middle getting the ball out, he needs some darn good protection to give him time to get said ball out!
3. Jonnu Smith
Give me tight engage! Give me all the tight endage! After a bit of a tight end action drought we now have several to choose from, two rather expensive ones too, but hey, who cares!?
Jonnu Smith is of a versatile hybrid ability. He is a good receiver and a strong blocker with good speed and elusiveness of an average wideout. Get out there Smith, get open, and get catching!
2. Hunter Henry
Give me more of that tight endage! Hunter Henry! Oh my… oh my… Hunter Henry… Behold the return of the traditional Y tight end. Hand in the dirt, big broad guy ready to block, throw guys to the ground (hopefully), get in the end zone and get me tight end touchdowns. Okay. Let’s move on. It’s getting too hot in here…
And finally! The most important Patriot…
1. The Quarterback
I hate to be really predictable (but I know that I am, I mean you all knew darn well there was gonna be at least two TEs on here, most of you probably expected six, anyways, your top man for 2021, the quarterback. The age-old (to 2021) question, who will be the Patriots QB1?
Cam Newton if he’s good enough…
Mac Jones if Cam is not, and Mac is good.
Jarret Stidham if Cam is ‘2020 Cam’, and Mac ain’t ready.
Brian Hoyer… no.
The long and short of it is, Newton is the veteran and SHOULD have the goods to bring it. What we don’t know is if he still does. Then, there is the question of does Mac Jones have what it takes to be an NFL starting quarterback right now?
Now I would like to point out that pretty much every player that makes the 53-man roster should be on this list. It’s a team game and the Patriots are a ferocious group. So I understand if you do not agree with any additions or omissions… this is just… A Clare Perspective.
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