The New England Patriots didn’t finish the 2021 NFL season in style, but the team did make progress by challenging in the AFC East and making the playoffs.Though exposed in the final few weeks of the season and the Wild Card round, the Patriots have some work to do both on the field and in the coaching staff.
The departure of offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels should present a new challenge for Mac Jones and the Patriots’ offense as the team will look to add some more weapons around the quarterback in the second season of his NFL career.
New England Patriots, Bill Belichick has some decisions to make
The biggest offseason challenge for Belichick, however, will come on the defensive side of the football. Along with losing Pro Bowl cornerback J.C. Jackson in free agency, the Patriots had to make decisions on several aging players.
While the team did decide to move on from Kyle Van Noy and appear to have moved on from Jamie Collins and Dont’a Hightower, they did bring back veteran safety Devin McCourty who should serve as an on-the-field coach who can help younger players the team need to step up in 2022.
In fact, the New England Patriots have several young players on both sides of the football they have drafted over the last three seasons who have either not gotten the opportunity due to injury or are simply gaining experience and growing within the system.
So, while the Patriots will look to get faster, younger and more athletic through the draft or NFL free agency, here are 12 players already on the team who could change the game by making leaps in 2022.