2. Mike Onwenu
Offensive line talk never gets the love that it deserves, but Onwenu was an absolute force once he slid back to his natural right tackle position in Week 7.
Early in the season, Onwenu was caught up in musical chairs on a much-maligned offensive line unit. New England trotted out the most combinations in the NFL this season, and essentially played without an offensive line coach following Adrian Klemm's leave of absence in early November. Recent reports revealed that Klemm had also "confronted" Patriots' director of player personnel Matt Groh early in the season over the lack of offensive line talent.
Given his performance this season, Onwenu should have escaped Klemm's wrath. From Week 9 on in his more comfortable position, the 6 foot 3, 350 pound mammoth was the ninth-ranked offensive tackle in the NFL per Pro Football Focus grades over that period. Following the position change, Onwenu played every single one of New England's offensive snaps for the remainder of the season (yes, 656 consecutive snaps).
Onwenu will hit free agency this offseason as the top-ranked free agent at his tackle position. The Michigan product should get paid, whether by the Patriots or another team, and deservedly so after the season that he had for New England.