3. Ben Johnson
Ben Johnson is one of the hottest names in coaching right now. The 37-year-old Detroit Lions offensive coordinator has been at the center of Detroit's transformation into one of the best offensive units in football. The Lions ranked in the top-five of numerous offensive metrics on their way to a 12-5 season and their first division title since 1993.
With Johnson at the helm, Detroit has trotted out a top-five scoring offense in each of the last two seasons. Johnson has reportedly "impressed and intrigued officials around the league with his creativity and open-mindedness."
Similarly to Slowik, Johnson is already receiving immense interest. Five NFL teams have already requested to interview him for their head coaching vacancies: the Atlanta Falcons, Carolina Panthers, Los Angeles Chargers, Tennessee Titans, and Washington Commanders. Even more could be on the way as the offseason coaching carousel continues to turn.
Johnson is likely going to command as much buzz as any other candidate during this hiring cycle, so the Patriots might have to sell him on their plan for going forward and the assets that would be available to him. It would be hard to imagine that the Patriots could offer him a better package than some of the other teams in contention, but Kraft has to at least pick up the phone.
Johnson does also have Massachusetts ties, coaching for three seasons at Boston College early in his career.