New England Patriots: Most important offensive skill players in 2020

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New England Patriots James White. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

New England Patriots key offensive skill players who must produce on offense to have a successful season in 2020.

It’s no secret that the fate of the New England Patriots offense and team in 2020 will be in the hands of its quarterback, ostensibly Jarrett Stidham. His success will depend on his talent but also on the other members of the offense.

The offensive line has to be healthy and stay healthy. After the defensive secondary, the offensive line is the strongest unit on the Patriots. They have outstanding talent in the starting five. The only question therein is depth.

Injuries, or the lack thereof, will be a central determinant of how the offense will fare this season. At present, the Patriots’ offensive line can ill-afford any major injuries. No offensive line, no offense.

It all starts with David Andrews at center. He calls the signals. He’s the hub around which the entire offense flows. This is a great start. Everything else flows from there. That’s a given.

Andrews’ health situation in 2019 was a major blow to New England’s repeat Super Bowl hopes right from the getgo. This injury cast a pall over the team from which they may never have fully recovered. It was an ominous sign.

Fortunately, they at least had a good backup, Ted Karras.

Karras wasn’t an all-star, but he could and did play both center and guard. That’s a big plus.

The loss of Ted Karras to free agency was significant. The Patriots needed to address this situation in the offseason. They did, sort of. They drafted three offensive linemen in the latter part of the 2020 draft. The best of them is a guard, Michael Onwenu from Michigan.

Onwenu was a steal in the sixth round and he can slot right in at the backup guard position. But, they will still need to have center cover for injury.

That’s another spot on the gameday roster and that precludes another position from being covered. Unless they can groom one player who can do both.

It’s all part of the puzzle for each and every game for New England and all other NFL teams. But both center and guard need that cover. Bill Belichick will have to account for it every game. There is no compromise.

The guard and tackle starters are top-notch. But again, depth is suspect. New England will have to work out the backup situation in camp. There’s not a lot of talent to draw on. It will be a challenge.

After the offensive line, the skill players must be solid, healthy, and productive. This article speaks about the key skill players on offense who must produce if the team is to succeed in 2020.

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