The New England Patriots had an abysmal 7-9 record last year, missing out on the playoffs for the first time since 2008.
When free agency opened, the New England Patriots weren't afraid to spend big to fix the issues that plagued them last season. Now, armed with free agency and 2021 NFL Draft picks, the Patriots will try to build their way back to the top of the AFC East.
New England Patriots 2021 Depth Charts
Here's is a position-by-position depth chart for the New England Patriots' offense and defense:
Quarterback: Cam Newton, Mac Jones, Jarrett Stidham, Brian Hoyer
Running Back: James White, Sony Michel, Damien Harris, Rhamondre Stevenson
Wide Receiver: Nelson Agholor, Kendrick Bourne, N'Keal Harry, Tre Nixon, Matthew Slater, Kristian Wilkerson
Tight End: Jonnu Smith, Hunter Henry
Center: David Andrews
Left Guard: Michael Onwenu, William Sherman
Right Guard: Shaq Mason
Left Tackle: Isaiah Wynn
Right Tackle: Trent Brown.
Edge Rusher: Matt Judon, Kyle Van Noy, Chase Winovich
Defensive Tackle: Davon Godchaux, Lawrence Guy, Deatrich Wise
Linebacker: Dont'a Hightower, Raekwon McMillan, Ja'Whawn Bentley
Safety: Devin McCourty, Adrian Phillips, Kyle Dugger
Corner: Stephon Gilmore, J.C. Jackson, Jonathan Jones.
Kicker: Nick Folk
Punter: Jake Bailey
Long Snapper: Joe Cardona
Kick/Punt Returner: Gunner Olszewski.
New England Patriots Depth Chart Analysis
Quarterback: The Patriots re-signed Cam Newton on a one-year deal shortly before the draft. They already had backup Jarrett Stidham on the roster and then drafted Mac Jones out of Alabama in the first round.
With three quarterbacks already on their roster, the New England Patriots signed veteran quarterback Brian Hoyer on a one-year contract last week. Newton should break training camp as the starting quarterback.
Running back: James White and Sony Michel will likely return as the starting running backs. Damien Harris is also an option at running back as well as rookie out of Oklahoma, Rhammondre Stevenson.
Wide Receiver: The New England Patriots signed free agents Nelson Agholor and Kendrick Bourne to multi-year deals this off-season. With N'Keal Harry enduring two disappointing seasons since being drafted, the Patriots needed to bolster their spot on the roster.
Tight End: Another position the New England Patriots added to in free agency was tight end. The Patriots signed Jonnu Smith, who spent the last four seasons with the Tennessee Titans, and Hunter Henry, who had been with the Chargers since 2016. Giving Newton two more offensive weapons, who are veteran tight ends, is a great way to give the Patriots' offense the explosiveness it once had and sorely lacked last season.
Offensive Line: At the offensive line, Trent Brown was traded back to the New England Patriots this year and will play right tackle. Isaiah Wynn is in at left tackle and David Andrews at center. There are a few options at guard, with Shaq Mason at right guard and Michael Onwenu and/or William Sherman at left guard.
Edge: Matt Judon signed a four-year deal with the New England Patriots after spending five seasons with the Baltimore Ravens. Judon will join Kyle Van Noy and Chase Winovich in the hope of creating some disturbance in that defense.
Defensive Tackle: A highlight at tackle is Christian Barmore, who was drafted in the second round out of Alabama. He could be an asset if not this year, definitely in the future, with Lawrence Guy and Deatrich Wise Jr. ahead of him on the depth chart.
Linebacker: The Patriots have a pretty solid lineup of linebackers, with Dont'a Hightower, Raekwon McMillan and Ja'Whawn Bentley all set to start week 1.
Safety: Devin McCourty and Adrian Phillips are on either side of safety, as well as Kyle Dugger.
Corner: With Stephon Gilmore, JC Jackson and Jonathan Jones all veterans in the secondary, they could see the most game time. But Joshuah Bledsoe, a sixth-round pick out of Missouri, looks like he could move up the depth chart in the future.
The Patriots special teams until was a spot on the roster that didn't need any help this off-season. Punter Jake Bailey has been a two-year starter and made the All-Pro Team last season, as did kick-and-punt returner Gunner Olszewski. Veteran Nick Folk will likely have kicking duties, and Joe Cardona could be the long snapper.