2015 Depth Charts Update: New England Patriots
- They may have questions on the interior of the offensive line, but Patriots fans will be more than happy with what they have at both tackle spots in Nate Solder and Sebastian Vollmer. 2014 saw Solder’s play go up and down throughout the year, but after how well he played in 2012 and 2013, particularly against the run, we’re happy enough that 2014 was a minor blip.
- Rob Gronkowski is the best player on their offense, but that tight end position in general is pretty strong. Gronkowski led all starting tight ends with a ridiculous 2.51 Yards Per Route Run from the slot, and again lead in Yards Per Route Run on all routes, at 2.53. Behind him they already had Tim Wright, and added Scott Chandler in free agency, with both more that capable of being the team’s number two tight end.
- Unlike their division rivals in New York, the Patriots will be happy with what they have on the edge of their defense. Rob Ninkovich and Chandler Jones return as starters with Jabaal Sheard added this offseason. Ninkovich’s play was up and down in 2014, but he really stood out against the run in 2013, while Jones was their best edge rusher a year ago. Sheard adds to that, having graded positively in each of the past two seasons.
- The biggest question mark for the Patriots defensively however, is at cornerback. Losing Darrelle Revis was huge, and right now their top three at the position look to be Malcolm Butler, Logan Ryan, and Robert McClain. The issue with Butler is, while he might have made the play that won the Super Bowl for the Patriots, we haven’t seen enough to know how good he really is. Ryan has been solid in the past, but doesn’t look like much more than that, while McClain allowed 1.36 Yards Per Coverage Snap from the slot, good for just 44th among cornerbacks.