Offseason Standout Named Patriots' Breakout Player of 2024

Patriots defensive lineman Keion White could be a player to watch out for this season.
New England Patriots v Miami Dolphins
New England Patriots v Miami Dolphins / Perry Knotts/GettyImages

The New England Patriots will usher in a brand new era of football with new head coach Jerod Mayo. Mayo will try to get the Patriots out of the basement of the AFC East this coming season after the team had four wins in 2023.

It won’t be an easy task for the first-year head coach, however, Mayo has a talented defense to lean on, which features a good mixture of vets and young players. One of those young players who could play a huge role this season for the Patriots is second-year defensive end Keion White.

White was drafted in the second round of the 2023 NFL Draft out of Georgia Tech and played 49 percent of defensive snaps. The 6-foot-5 defensive lineman recorded 26 combined tackles, five quarterback hits, three tackles for loss, pass deflections, and a sack.

Mayo has reportedly been impressed with White’s leadership skills during spring workouts. At the same time, Patriots Wire’s Jordan McCoy points out that the second-year defensive lineman could be one of the breakout players in the league this coming season.

"Second-year defensive end Keion White has been one of the biggest standouts in the spring practices. He’s playing with more confidence, and according to Patriots coach Jerod Mayo, he’s accepted more of a leadership role on the team. On the field, White is an explosive playmaker with the ability to make far more noise off the edge than he did as a rookie. Having a healthy Matthew Judon to work with should do wonders for his overall game. White was a second-round draft pick for the Patriots in 2023, but some draft analysts believed he had first-round talent. This could be the year he proves those projections as true."

The Patriots made no changes to the defensive line this offseason as they expect White to be a key playmaker off the edge, alongside Matt Judon. If Judon stays healthy and the Patriots get pressure up the middle from Christian Barmore and Davon Godchaux, it should free up one-on-one opportunities for White.

With the Patriots’ offense being a work in progress, New England needs a big year from White as they try to improve off of a disappointing 36-sack 2023 season from the defense.

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