The New England Patriots have dominated the NFL for the last 15 years, and it’s about to suddenly stop.
Despite making it to their second consecutive Super Bowl, this is far from the same team that took the field less than a year ago. The only person who can put people minds at rest is Tom Brady. His numbers haven't taken a step back in years, he threw for 4577 yards and 32 touchdowns last season, but what’s lacking? His back up. Brian Hoyer is not equipped to step up when Brady decides to step down. That is why in this upcoming draft that the Patriots have to take a QB at 23.
When you get that deep in the draft, pickings are slim, but there is one glaring standout. Mason Rudolph has put up stellar numbers since he’s been a sophomore at Oklahoma State. In his senior season with the Cowboys, Rudolph had 37 touchdowns and 9 interceptions. And while that is all fine and good, the supporting cast that the Patriots have is depleted.
The Patriots let Danny Amendola walk, traded away Brandin Cooks, and Rob Gronkowski might bail on the NFL for the WWE…
The Patriots roster is starting to look seriously depleted. The main cause for concern is the only major additions that the Patriots have made, is signing the other McCourty twin (Jason), and Cordarrelle Patterson. And all Patterson is good for, is returning kicks. Not to mention that last year, he recorded 254 less return yards from his last season in Minnesota, and he hasn’t scored a touchdown since 2016.
Chris Hogan is now slotted in as the top receiver, even though he missed most of last season, and finished with a career high 5 touchdowns. Hogan doesn’t have the durability to be the no doubt option for this team.
It doesn’t get better when you move down the depth chart. Phillip Dorsett slots in as the number two wide out and only had 12 catches last year as New England’s bench option. Bill Belichick and company are asking an awful lot of a wide receiver core that has minimal experience, especially considering that Brady’s days are numbered.
New England has always been a threat in the NFL because of Brady and the passing game, but they always have a somewhat decent backfield. But guess what...it’s not looking so good next year.
Rex Burkhead seems to be the outlier for lead duty in the backfield, but the only reason he has had success is because the Pat’s have been a pass first team. This season that is going to change.
The rest of the NFL is adjusting and preparing for this upcoming draft, which is stocked with future talent. Sam Darnold, Josh Rosen, and Baker Mayfield. The former players named are all going to team’s that have a solid wide receiver core, the exception being the New York Jets...but the Patriots need to realize that times are changing, and if they don’t, they will never catch up.
When you look around the AFC East, every other team has made some sort of adjustment, the Bills cut Tyrod Taylor and brought in AJ McCarron, the Dolphins called it a season and shipped Jarvis Landry to the Browns, and the Jets? Well...they still suck.
The New England Patriots are a few bad games from becoming irrelevant, and if they hope to stand a chance, it all comes down to this years draft.