Who Would Make A Patriots All Time Team?

This is something I’ve been wanting to discuss for a decent bit, if you could have every player who ever played for New England and put them on a team, what would that team look like? Who would make the team? Who would make the starting 11 on both sides of the ball? Well let’s take a look, this is my interpretation of a Patriots all time team.

Quarterback: Tom Brady

It has to be Brady, there is no better QB than him in Patriots history, heck there’s nobody better in league history. The GOAT definitely takes the role of starting QB for the all time team.

Runningback: Curtis Martin

I know that many people think of the Jets when they think of Curtis Martin, but he was a beast on the Patriots and was more consistent than any other Runningback we’ve had to this date.

Wide Receivers: Randy Moss, Wes Welker, and Stanley Morgan

It hurt me not to put Edelman on here, but the others (yes, even Welker) have better cases. For those wondering why Moss is on here, his career best in stats for on the Patriots and it wouldn’t make sense not to include him. Also everyone seems to forget what a beast Stanley Morgan was, google his stats and the QBs he played with and you’ll see why I think so highly of him.

Tight End: Rob Gronkowski

(Arguably) The best TE in NFL History should go with the best QB in NFL history, nobody could stop prime Gronk.

Offensive Line: Matt Light, John Hannah, David Andrews, Logan Mankins, and Bruce Armstrong

Most of these are self explanatory, but I feel that some may believe that Dan Koppen should be here over Andrews, but Andrews is far superior in his leadership and blocking ability (not to mention more rings).

Defensive line: Willie McGinest, Vince Wilfork, Ty Warren, and Richard Seymour

I know that McGinest played some outside linebacker, but I’ll count him as a defensive end here, and I decided to go with a 4-3 defense with Wilfork and Warren at DT.

Linebackers: Nick Buoniconti, Tedy Bruschi, and Andre Tippett

Not much to explain here, 2 hall of famers and a darn good linebacker make this a dangerous unit.

Defensive Backs Ty Law, Stephon Gilmore, Devin McCourty, and Rodney Harrison

Gilmore may be recency bias, but it’s tough to argue with being a defensive player of the year and the rest should be easy to figure out why they’re their.

As for special teams…

Kicker Adam Vinatieri

Punter: Jake Bailey

Bailey may be more recency bias, but I’ve never seen another Pats punter with his leg strength and ball control ability. Also Vinatieri is a best kicker ever and certainly the most clutch (and better as a Patriot, sorry Colts fans).

Is there anyone you think is missing? Comment down below.

Patriots Pre-Training Camp Roster Projection

I’m back!!! For the NFL, Summer always ,means slow news and few stories, but with Patriots training camp on the horizon, I figured it’d be fun to try a roster projection. Please keep in mind that this is barring any big signings and blockbuster trades.

Will Cam Newton start week one? Or will Mac Jones shock us?

QB: Cam Newton and Mac Jones

Cut: Jarrett Stidham and Brian Hoyer

There should be no surprises here right? Stidham and Hoyer offer very little in the way of team production, but don’t be shocked if Hoyer is brought back as a special assistant.

RB: Damien Harris, Sony Michel, Rhamondre Stevenson, and JJ Taylor (Jakob Johnson is the fullback)

Cut: Brandon Bolden and Tyler Gaffney

Bolden may have a case as a special teamer, but overall, his impact isn’t much as our special teams unit thrived without him.

WR: Nelson Agholor, Jakobi Meyers, Kendrick Bourne, Gunner Olszewski, Matthew Slater, and Tre Nixon

Traded: N’Keal Harry (not a big return)

Cut: Marvin Hall, Devin Ross, Devin Smith, Isaiah Zuber, and Kristian Wilkerson.

N’Keal Harry wants out and I believe that he will be traded before the cutdown days, but other than Nixon, every receiver listed as making it is pretty much a lock.

TE: Hunter Henry, Jonnu Smith, and Devin Asiasi

Cut: Troy Fumagalli, Dalton Keene, Matt LaCosse, and Rashod Berry.

Maybe, just MAYBE, Keene sneaks on here, but Belichick rarely lets draft mistakes hang around for long.

This offense will be different with capable weapons this season.

OL: David Andrews, Shaq Mason, Trent Brown, Mike Onwenu, Isaiah Wynn, Ted Karras, Justin Herron, Yodny Cajuste, and Will Sherman

Cut: Marcus Martin, Korey Cunningham, James Ferentz, RJ Prince, and Alex Redmond

Outside of the starting 5 O-Lineman (who are locks), the backups should be interesting, as everyone has a case to make the team.

DL: Henry Anderson, Byron Cowart, Lawrence Guy, Chase Winovich, Deatrich Wise Jr., Christian Barmore, and Davon Godchaux.

Cut: Tashawn Bower, Carl Davis, Bill Murray, Akeem Spence, Nick Thurman, and Montravius Adams.

I had a hard time with this one, but the backup defensive tackles will have a hard time competing with Godchaux and Barmore.

LB: Dont’a Hightower, Matt Judon, Kyle Van Noy, Ja’whaun Bentley, Josh Uche, Ronnie Perkins, Anfernee Jennings, and Brandon King

PUP: Cameron McGrone

Cut: Terez Hall, Harvey Langi, and Raekwon McMillan.

This group will be fun to watch next season and the cut players here I can envision making the team, we’ll just have to wait.

How will the new defensive additions pan out?

DB: Stephon Gilmore, Devin McCourty, JC Jackson, Jonathan Jones, Joshuah Bledsoe, Jalen Mills, Joejuan Williams, Myles Bryant, Kyle Dugger, and Adrian Phillips

Cut: Michael Jackson Sr., Justin Bethel, Adrian Colbert, D’Angelo Ross, and Dee Virgin.

Another tricky group to predict, as some of the cut players can be very good on special teams, but most of the ones who made it are locks, such as Gilmore and McCourty and Jackson.

Special Teams:

K: Nick Folk

P: Jake Bailey

LS: Joe Cardona

Cut: Quinn Nordin

No surprises here, Nordin can’t compete with Folk.

Write down these projections, we’ll see how this ages during roster cutdowns. We’re onto training camp!

The Patriots’ Quarterback Quandary: (2021 Edition)

With 2021 OTA’s underway in Foxboro, the Patriots still do not have a clear answer at quarterback. They technically have 4 possible options, in Cam Newton, Mac Jones, Jarrett Stidham, and Brian Hoyer, but let’s be honest, the starter will likely be either Newton or Jones. Hoyer is only there to be a journeyman mentor for Jones and Stidham will probably get cut (I don’t see that Pats keeping 4 quarterbacks on the roster), so the million dollar question is, “Who will start week one?”

Who will be the starter, Cam Newton or Mac Jones?

It is important to note that Cam has a bone bruise in his throwing hand and will miss the rest of OTA’s and probably mandatory minicamp, but reports say that he should be good to go for training camp. Jones should take this opportunity to prove himself and get a leg up on the competition before training camp.

Newton is in a totally different spot, he knows the playbook better and he is healed from his should ailments from last season. Thus far, his throwing motion has improved and so has his accuracy, but many say that his footwork and movements are still awkward and unreliable. So how has Jones fared? For starters, Coach Belichick has raved about Jones’ ability and that he has earned a tremendous amount of respect in the locker room. He stays up until 2 in the morning studying film and learning the playbook and from what he’s done on the practice field, you’d think he’s been there for a year already.

Every day, I grow more and more confident in Jones and if he keeps this up, he will be the week one starter, but Newton has system experience and that goes a long way. We’ll just have to wait for training camp.

The Offseason: How did the Patriots do?

With OTAs and training camp on the horizon, each NFL team can start building next seasons roster and putting their new players to work in their schemes. With each team getting a majority of their signings and trades done and drafting new players, some teams took full advantage of their offseason and got significantly better, one such team is the New England Patriots. How did they do? What were their biggest moves? What is their offseason grade? Let’s find out…

The Patriots brought back some key pieces to their team to mentor the new guys, among them were David Andrews, James White, and Deatrich Wise Jr., these players are worth bringing back and will be good to have on Sundays. Other players that were resigned include Lawrence Guy and Nick Folk, who will bolster the roster further. The Patriots didn’t suffer too many losses, but the biggest ones were Joe Thuney and Adam Butler. While Thuney will be missed, he will be replaced by the up and coming Mike Onwenu, Butler on the other hand isn’t too serious of a loss and was replaced in free agency and a replacement was drafted too.

In free agency, the struggling offense was reinforced with many new weapons that will help the overall explosiveness in a lackluster unit. First, the Patriots upgraded at right tackle by bringing in Trent Brown (a former Patriot) and it only gets better. The Pats lacked production from the tight ends, so Bill Belichick signed the two best tight ends on the market, Jonnu Smith and Hunter Henry. The two tight end set always did wonders for the Patriots and now it’s back. The receiving core was retooled with a deep threat in Nelson Agholor and a speedster in Kendrick Bourne, pair them with an unsung Jakobi Meyers and you have a respectable unit.

While the defense was still productive last season, the unit as a whole lost a step, so in free agency, Belichick grabbed Matthew Judon to set the edge and Davon Godchaux as a depth piece for the interior. Another former Patriot, Kyle Van Noy, was brought back to revitalize the linebacker core and the versatile Jalen Mills was signed to contribute to a dangerous defensive backfield. Some other names that were added are Henry Anderson and Raekwon McMillan, who could be swapped around with the starters as solid depth players. Also Dont’a Hightower is coming back from the opt out list, so the defense looks to be as strong as ever.

The Patriots absolutely knocked it out of the park with their draft, starting with the Alabama QB Mac Jones, who has a high floor and a ceiling of a great pocket passer. In round 2, the Pats got a steal in another Alabama player, the defensive tackle, Christian Barmore. Barmore can be an excellent run stuffer and a powerful rusher. The same can be said for the 3rd rounder from Oklahoma, Ronnie Perkins and the bruising running back from round 4 Rhamondre Stevenson (also from Oklahoma). Add in some other late rounders and you have a great draft that can impact the team right away.

All the Pats’ weaknesses were dealt with in some way and while they still have needs, they aren’t glaring flaws like last season. When you look at a big free agency and a killer draft class, I think it’s safe to say that the Patriots had a tremendous offseason and could potentially launch themselves back into division contention.

Offseason Grade: A

Patriots 2021 NFL Draft Breakdown

The 2021 NFL draft is officially over, how did the Patriots fare this year? Are they still “bad at drafting”? How does it hold up in terms of talent? Let’s find out…

Round 1, Pick 15: Mac Jones, Quarterback, Alabama

The Patriots get their man in Alabama’s Mac Jones. Jones possesses a great football IQ, pro ready decision making, and pinpoint accuracy, I won’t spend too much time on this pick as I have already covered it. If you want the full opinion, here is the article link: https://cjspatriotsopinions.com/2021/04/30/snap-judgements-patriots-select-mac-jones-15th-overall/

Round 2, Pick 38: Christian Barmore, Defensive Tackle, Alabama

The Nick Saban-Bill Belichick connection comes through for this pick, as the Patriots trade up to get an absolute steal in Barmore. Barmore is the best DT prospect in this draft and can stuff the run and get after the quarterback, he somehow fell to the second round and the Patriots can use this giant man(6’5, 311 lb.) to plug up a leaky run defense.

Round 3, Pick 96: Ronnie Perkins, Edge Rusher, Oklahoma

This could very well be the steal of the draft, Perkins who is one of the better edge rushers in this draft and a top 50 prospect, falls to pick 96. Many were upset that they didn’t draft a receiver here, but make no mistake, Perkins was the best player available and he can revitalize the pass rush. He is a powerful pass rusher who plays angry, bowls over blockers, and can get after the quarterback.

Round 4, Pick 120: Rhamondre Stevenson, Runningback, Oklahoma

The Patriots snag another Oklahoma Sooner in the bruising back, Rhamondre Stevenson. He’s 6’0 247 lbs. and bowls through tacklers like pylons with a 4.6 40 time, he’s the power back that New England hasn’t has since LeGarrette Blount. This may have broader implications, as it means that Sony Michel and James White will likely be allowed to walk after this season.

Round 5, Pick 177: Cameron McGrone, Linebacker, Michigan

The Patriots add to their collection of Michigan defenders (Uche and Winovich) with McGrone. Another late round gem, he is an aggressive, sideline to sideline, type of linebacker and a sure tackler in the open field. What really makes him valuable is his ability to blitz and stuff running plays, as is isn’t afraid of jumping into the fray to make a tackle.

Round 6, Pick 188: Joshua Bledsoe, Safety, Missouri

Bledsoe has Bill Belichick’s favorite attribute, versatility. He can play either Safety spot, be a special teamer, drop down in the slot, or play linebacker on some plays. He is another aggressive player and has a high motor, he always delivers big hits and can be a swiss army knife on defense, kind of like Adrian Phillips currently.

Round 6, Pick 197: William Sherman, Offensive Lineman, Colorado

Sherman is another versatile player for the offensive line. He has experience on the left side and the right side of the offensive line and can play guard or tackle, he can be a good swing backup player and could be special with some good coaching

Round 7, Pick 242: Tre Nixon, Wide Receiver, UCF

Limited to 4 games last season with a broken collarbone, Nixon is very raw, but dripping with potential. He’s speedy, boasting a 40 time of 4.4 and the 3 cone drill time of 6.81. He can climb the ladder to win jump balls and isn’t afraid of contact, he’s a long shot to make the roster as a 7th round pick, but he could very well give N’Keal Harry and Isaiah Zuber a run for their money.

Patriots draft final grade: A

The Pats knocked it out of the park in terms of talent and this draft certainly passes the eye test as far as players go. I wouldn’t be shocked if everyone drafted actually makes the roster, this draft solidifies the roster overhaul and the Patriots could be very dangerous if these players develop. As of now, we’re on to training camp.

SNAP JUDGEMENTS: Patriots Select Mac Jones 15th Overall

The 1st round of the NFL Draft has come and gone and the Patriots (contrary to the swirling rumors) stayed put at 15 and drafted Alabama quarterback, Mac Jones, 15th overall. Right of the bat, this is a perfect fit for New England and they didn’t have to trade a future first rounder to get him, he just fell right in their lap, which is nice since he could have gone as early as 3rd overall.

When looking at him, there is a lot to like. For example, Jones comes from University of Alabama, they pump out stars every year and their pro-style game planning puts Jones another step further to being NFL ready. Jones is a natural leader and a winner, who led Alabama to a national championship last season. He’s a safe player who can come in and be a fine game manager right away, but with the proper coaching, can be something special. There are some concerns about his mobility and ability to scramble, but the Patriots have had 20 years of success with an unathletic quarterback, so take that with a grain of salt. What is really great about Jones is his enthusiasm to be a Patriot, he has confirmed that this was where he wanted to go all along and he’s ready to get to work. Let the quarterback competition begin…

(The rest of the drafted prospects will be covered together in a Patriots draft recap article)

Patriots Draft Targets

The NFL draft draws closer and the Patriots have an unusually high pick (pick 15) and they can go in any direction. They have been projected to trade up, trade back, and stay where they are. So who are some (realistic targets) for the Patriots if they stay at 15? Who are some good 2nd-7th round picks that they can grab? Only Bill Belichick knows for sure, but here are some guys that I like. To help me with the prospect picks is my friend and a draft fanatic, Mike Ciccketti.

1st round prospect #1: Mac Jones, QB, Alabama

Comparison: Jimmy Garoppolo

Mike’s analysis: A safe pick and a game manager, with a high football IQ and great decision making coming from a pro-style offense. However, he isn’t very mobile and has an average arm and can panic against elite defensive lines.

1st round prospect #2: Jaylen Waddle, WR, Alabama

Comparison: Tyreek Hill

Mike’s analysis: Another Alabama prospect, Waddle has elite speed and experience as an outside receiver and in the slot. He isn’t afraid of contact and will give everything to make the catch and sure hands. Waddle is smaller and cannot block downfield and he also has trouble slowing down on intermediate routes.

1st round prospect: #3 Micah Parsons, LB, Penn St.

Comparison: Myles Jack

Mike’s analysis: Parsons is an efficient tackler with a wide tackle radius and has a very high motor with high effort. He’s great at sniffing out the run and is speedy for his size. he’s a leader and plays by example as well. In order to become even more well rounded he must improve his pass coverage.

1st round prospect #4: Jaelan Phillips, EDGE, Miami

Comparison: Maxx Crosby

Mike’s analysis: He’s extremely effective as a 4-3 defensive end and has the versatility to be an outside linebacker. He is a larger rusher, but has tremendous speed and flexibility and has a high football IQ to pair with a high motor. His biggest weakness is his injuries and he may fall to round to the 2nd round because of it.

1st round prospect #5: Rashod Bateman, WR, Minnesota

Comparison: Justin Jefferson

Mike’s analysis: He has a long catch radius and can quickly and easily secure the ball from anywhere. His route running is okay and his speed keeps defenses honest. He’s inexperienced in run blocking and below average ball tracking skills on deep throws too.

Steal prospect #1: Kellen Mond, QB, Texas A&M

Comparison: Josh Dobbs

Mike’s analysis: A good pro-style, project quarterback who can be dangerous if developed properly (Belichick loves a project) with a decent arm and good mobility. He has a tendency to make questionable throws downfield and hopes his receivers will bail him out.

Steal prospect #2; Asante Samuel Jr., CB, Florida St.

Comparison: Mackensie Alexander

Mike’s analysis: He can hold own in man coverage and is a sure tackler despite his size. He’s a keen run defender and has the versatility to play in the slot. However he is extremely inconsistent in zone coverage and can be slow to track the ball.

Steal prospect #3: Dyami Brown, WR, North carolina

Comparison: Paul Richardson

Mike’s analysis: An excellent vertical route runner and creates separation easily. can make route adjustments on the fly and is deadly after the catch. Unfortunately, he may struggle to expand his route tree at the NFL level and he needs more experience running different routes.

Steal prospect #4: Khyiris Tonga, DT, BYU

Comparison: Leki Fotu

Mike’s analysis: He has a giant build and reacts quickly in the run game. Able to push the pocket and pancakes lineman with ease. He struggles to shed blocks and has few push rush moves and his weight limits his mobility and has trouble against giant offensive lineman as well.

Steal prospect #5: Jaret Patterson, RB, Buffalo

Comparison: Devonta Freeman

Mike’s analysis: He doesn’t waste time behind the line and has good vision for his size. He has good balance and can run through defenders. His speed is below average and his acceleration leaves something to be desired.

The draft is 4/29/21 and I can’t wait to see who we draft, we’ll just have to wait with bated breath until then. Who will the Pats select?

A big thank you to Mike Ciccketti for helping me this this.

Julian Edelman RELEASED

It’s a sad day for Pats fan everywhere, as the team released veteran receiver, Julian Edelman. His contract was terminated after he failed a physical with the team. Sadly, this wasn’t entirely unexpected, he’s 34 and he has received many surgeries lately, this was probably the best option for him. Despite the rumors, no he probably isn’t going to Tampa Bay (sorry Brady) and this is likely a precursor for retirement.

We will all miss Jules

Happy trails to the Super Bowl MVP, wherever he goes I will support him. He leaves New England with 6,822 yards, 36 touchdowns, 3 super bowl championships, and 1 Super Bowl MVP.

Let’s get a few things straight about the Patriots…

People are getting false information left a right about the Patriots, whether it’s Tom Brady’s and Bruce Arians’ comments, Robert Kraft’s interview, or LaVar Arrington’s bold takes. Because the general public is getting so many things wrong about the Patriots, let’s set some things straight.

1.Let’s address Robert Kraft’s interview, specifically the draft part. No, I don’t think he took any shots at Belichick, that’s what sports media wants you to believe. We do need to get better at drafting, but too much blame is placed upon Belichick, this also falls upon former director of player personnel and de facto GM, Nick Caserio. Without him I would expect the Patriots draft classes to improve significantly and not to mention that Belichick is opening his inner circle to trust more people, so this should get everyone to stop whining about his drafting ability (he did draft Brady after all.)

2. There is a notion that Brady was kicked out of New England, this is not true, any football fan who believes that should not be allowed to watch football again for believing something so profoundly idiotic. I will only say this once, Tom Brady left on his own accord, the Pats wanted him back, he just didn’t want to be there. Then everyone says that we “refused” to get him weapons, we got him Josh Gordon, Antonio Brown, and N’Keal Harry, it’s not our fault they didn’t work, they tried, but Brown had false allegations against him, Gordon relapsed and Harry couldn’t stay healthy.

3. Brady’s comments about New England were not meant to be insults, so stop trying to twist things around. Bruce Arians on the other hand, did take shots at the Patriots way and criticized Coach Belichick. Arians has no right to throw stones, he will never be half the coach that Belichick is and Arians should respect his superiors. 6 rings are greater than 1 ring, just saying.

Arians was carried by Brady, change my mind.

4. Finally, NFL personality and former player LaVar Arrington said that Belichick’s seat is starting to get “warm”… no. I’m not going to go on about his take as it is ridiculous, but if you think Bill Belichick is on the hot seat, please seek help.

His takes are simply the worst

Hopefully you have realized the truth and have seen that the Patriots are not a the big bad organization that everyone thinks. Please do not believe what the ESPN personalities say and ask a real Pats fan.

Some More Patriots News and Musings

The Patriots are still generating some news and as the exciting parts of free agency winding down, let’s see what they’ve been up to.

Signing #13: LaRoy Reynolds

Reynolds is a very low risk signing and mostly a special teams player, he was signed to a 1 year deal. The Patriots love their special teams unit and he was a very solid pickup for them.

In other news, Stephon Gilmore has told the Patriots that he open to a contract extension where his cap hit would be decreased. I love this move, as I am a huge Gilmore fan and I never wanted to see him go. If they can work out an extension, it would keep the secondary dangerous.

Also, we’ll end on this note, don’t be shocked if the offense is good next season. Keep sleeping on the Pats… but I can give you 4 reasons why the offense will be dangerous again.