Sony Michel dominated the Patriots backfield last season. He played in 13 games, ran for 931 yards and 6 touchdowns. The Georgia product impressed New England fans and gave us a glimpse of the post-Brady era. After trading Jimmy Garoppolo, we were locked into Brady for at least a few more years, and once again Belichick looks like a genius.
Bill Belichick, for the second year in a row, took an offensive skill player in the first round of the draft. N’keal Harry is a big, athletic wide receiver, not the type of receiver the Patriots usually have. With Michel and Harry, the next piece is a quarterback. Whoever gets stuck with the task of succeeding Tom Brady is going to have a tough time. Taking over for the greatest quarterback of all time is no small task, a Super Bowl or bust team every year. No one really knows the Patriots plan for their next quarterback, it could be Jarret Stidham, Danny Etling, but knowing Belichick it could be anyone.
The Patriots offensive line relies on younger guys to be consistent starters. David Andrews is a 2 time Super Bowl champ, and at 26 years old was a team captain last season. Andrews has been the center for the team since 2015 and has fully embraced being a Patriot. One of the Patriots first round draft picks last year, Isaiah Wynn tore his achilles before the start of the season. He missed the entire season, and has a chance to start this season now that he has fully recovered.
Young guys on the defensive side have shown promise. J.C. Jackson was a pleasant surprise last season, lined up on the other side of Stephon Gilmore. Ja’Whaun Bentley, the young linebacker only played in three games last season. His year was cut short due to a torn bicep. But in those 3 games, Bentley recorded 14 tackles and had one interception.
The Patriots dynasty will not last forever, as much as I want it too, it won’t happen. Tom Brady and Bill Belichick will not be here forever. And sadly, we’re reaching that point. Just as I said about Brady’s successor, the next Patriots head coach will have some massive shoes to fill. He has built a foundation of young players he likes and trusts. Giving the Patriots a direction to go in the future.