Touted by much of the media as the 'revenge season', the Patriots had much to prove going into this season's draft. With this season's draft in the books and all impact free agents off the board - the roster looks impressive. Bill Belichick and the management clearly think that bolstering their offense is the answer to reclaiming the Super Bowl, with two exciting offensive picks in Isaiah Wynn (OL,23rd) and Sony Michel (RB,31st).
Below we take a closer look at the overall squad, their depth, strengths, and weaknesses.
The Pats rate Isaiah Wynn very highly, and much would be expected out of him, along with Marcus Cannon who unfortunately missed his entire rookie season due to an ankle injury. In Matt Robin and Ulrick John, the Pats have signed two impressive free agents who promise to deliver. LaAdrian Waddle, who had an impressive run last season while filling in for Cannon has rightly been re-signed, and the Pats would love a similar showing this season.
In Sony Michel, the Pats have indeed landed one of the most gifted running back's in the NFL. He would be ably supported by the ever so reliable James White and Rex Burkhead. In Brandon Bolden, the Pats have a special player, known to deliver in clutch moments. The question though remains, how many running back's will Bill Belichick opt for?
If there lies a particular weakness in this Patriots roster, it has to their defensive end. In Adrian Clayborn, the Pats have signed a great defensive addition, but he is yet to prove his defensive credentials in the Patriots' system. After missing his entire rookie season, Derek Rivers will now have to prove his worth, along with the experienced Trey Flowers who enters his final year under contract. The likes of Deatrich Wise, Eric Lee and Keionta Davis will have to ably support if the Pats have any chance of reclaiming the Super Bowl.
The defensive tackle front looks weak, bothering the management and Bill Belichick in particular. They let Alan Branch leave, making us question their long-term depth. Much of their defensive prowess lies on the shoulders of Danny Shelton and Malcolm Brown, who enters his final year under contract.
The Pats and Bill Belichick breathed a huge sigh of relief when Rob Gronkowski informed them that he'll be playing this season. While his health still remains a question, his presence is sure to lift the squad morale. With James Develin, Dwayne Allen and Will Tye as the other notable mentions, the Pats look pretty tight on this front. But boy will they miss the presence of a certain Martellus Bennett!
With Devin McCourty, Duron Harmon and Patrick Chung in the side, it's tough to not call this their strongest position group! With Chung looking very likely to retire soon, finding an able successor is a priority for Bill and his team. But keeping just the 2018 season in mind, this position would most naturally trump all of NFL, barring any significant injury.
Julian Edelman looks all set to tear apart the opposing defensive ends this season, after missing the whole length of last season on account of a brutal ACL tear. Supporting him this year would be Chris Hogan, Jordan Matthews and Matthew Slater. This position looks extremely loaded and dynamic. Add to the mix Cordarrelle Patteson, and this position looks mouthwatering and terrifying at the same time!
41 and still going strong, Tom Brady looks all set to return this season and pair up with Bill Belichick. While there has certainly been some off-season drama, this position will always be the jewel on the Patriots' crown. Rumors has it that the Pats would make a move for Baker Mayfield, but nothing really came out of it. Which means that Brian Hoyer would most definitely be the first choice backup at the QB position. While the long-term stability continues to remain a doubt, as long as TB12 dons the Patriot colors - Bill Belichick and the Pats look all set to lift the Vince Lombardi Trophy!