One surprise key player in New England Patriots 2022 offense

New England Patriots Isaiah Wynn (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)
New England Patriots Isaiah Wynn (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images) /

The New England Patriots chose to revamp their offense this offseason with a new and improved Mac Jones and some other nice additions.

A recent prediction for Mac Jones’ second season left this space flat. It said he’d fare about the same. It says here and elsewhere quite the opposite will be the case

Before delving into a truly surprising key player for the team’s offense this season, (hint: he’s an offensive lineman) let’s first talk about why the Patriots’ offense will be better, and it could be a lot better.

It had better be, the outlook for the defense which received minimal upgrades isn’t great. Lots will depend on Mac Jones and his fellow offensive guys.

The new and improved New England Patriots offense

Predictions that Mac Jones will not improve this season are off-the-wall. The young man was challenged to get better, and it looks like he clearly dedicated himself during the offseason to do just that. That is a harbinger of good things to come.

In addition, the team added a top receiver, DeVante Parker in a very nice inter-divisional trade with Miami. If not a true No.1, he is still now their best receiver. They also added pieces in the draft., several of them on the offensive line. In the first round, they added Cole Strange.

While maybe looked upon as a reach pick in some observers eyes, Strange is ticketed to start as a rookie. They also have two possible surprises later in the draft on the line in Chasen Hines, a guard from LSU, and Andrew Steuber, a giant tackle from Michigan. If they can overcome their injury situations, they could be solid additions.

The team also drafted Tyquan Thornton, a blazingly fast receiver from Baylor in the second round. If he pans out, he’ll be a great speed option. Later, they added a speed back in Pierre Strong Jr. from South Dakota State and a bulldozing big back (a favorite position in this space), Kevin Harris from South Carolina. Now, let’s move on to the surprise key player.

New England Patriots Isaiah Wynn will be a key player in the 2022 offense

Readers of this space have to scratch their heads at seeing that supposition emanating from this space. Wynn has been summarily panned here for being underwhelming almost since he was drafted as the Patriots starting offensive left tackle. The operative word there is “left”.

At a listed 6’2″ tall and 310 or so pounds, Wynn was never physically well-suited to be an NFL left tackle. The Patriots seemed to have a hard time figuring that out. But, now, maybe they have. IN the recently concluded mandatory OTA session, they finally (though belatedly) put massive Trent Brown on the left and moved Wynn to right tackle. It’s a good move for a number of reasons.

First, Wynn’s size is better utilized on the right though he’s undersized even there. (His ultimate best position would be to play guard, but one step at a time.) On the strong side, he’ll have help some of the time from the tight ends.

That’s a good thing for Wynn since his length isn’t suitable to play on an island. This was exposed last season when he gave up six sacks and far too many pressures. It will make all the difference.

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In addition, in tandem with the tight ends, Hunter Henry and Jonnu Smith, Wynn can utilize his dominant run-blocking ability to plow the road for the talented New England Patriots running back group. Yes, Wynn has dominating run-blocking skills.

Wynn will be able to road-grade the right side and his ability to get to the second level and demolish linebackers and defensive backs will lead to big gainers by the backs. Unlike some other linemen who get to the second level and never hit anyone, Wynn is a seek-and-destroy run-blocker. He finds and then plants opposing defenders at the second level.

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While Wynn could do the same at guard, this move to right tackle is a Win-Win (pun intended) for both the player and the team. With a super-improved Mac Jones and additional weapons coupled with Trent Brown at left tackle and Wynn on the right side, expect the Patriots offensive line, the most important unit on the field to excel.

Though belated, it’s a good move by Bill Belichick and co. Its success will be seen early and often in a Patriots offense that just may be one of the top units in the AFC. We’ll see soon enough…can’t wait.