Quarterback: There is not much to be said here. The Patriots have Tom Brady leading the offense in his 19th NFL season. You always have to be confident in your chances when you have Tom Brady under center.
Running Back: This position has usually been done by committee for the Patriots, but New England has Sony Michel returning for his second season, and he has great potential as a feature back. Super Bowl LI hero James White will be the primary receiving back, while Rex Burkhead is the everything back who can run and catch the ball with ease. Burkhead will get a lot of goal line carries as well as 3rd and short plays. Most teams rely on one running back to carry the load, but the Patriots have a great three-man system that can keep opposing teams off balance.
Wide Receiver: The receiving corps is led by Super LIII MVP Julian Edelman, but there are also some fresh faces who should make an impact. First round draft pick N’Keal Harry is a big body receiver who should have an excellent rookie season. One guy to look out for is second year player Braxton Berrios. He spent all of last season on Injured Reserve, but he’s healthy now and ready to contribute. After playing in week one of the preseason, Berrios looks like he will be an excellent route runner as well as a great punt returner on special teams. The Patriots also added Demaryius Thomas in the offseason, and he should be a great veteran presence for the younger receivers.
Tight End: This is the position that has the least depth for the Patriots. 38-year old Ben Watson returns to the Patriots as the #1 option, but he will miss the first four games of the season due to a suspension. I would not be surprised if the Patriots add a tight end during the season through a trade. The absence of Rob Gronkowski will definitely be noticeable this season, but it is hard to replace a guy like Gronk because he is one of a kind.
Offensive Line: New England lost starting LT tackle Trent Brown and depth option LaAdrian Waddle in free agency, but they add last year’s first round pick Isaiah Wynn who missed the entire 2018 season due to a torn Achilles. They also drafted Yodny Cajuste and Hjalte Froholdt who should be great depth options. The Patriots always seem to have a dependable offensive even without big names, and this season should be no different.
Defensive Line: This New England defense might actually be better than it was last year. The Patriots did lose Trey Flowers, but they made some additions that should make up for his departure. The biggest addition is the trade for Michael Bennett as he should come close to matching Trey Flowers’ production. A sleeper addition that might go unnoticed by some people is Chase Winovich. He was a steal in the third round by the Patriots in this past draft, and he should make an impact this season.
Linebackers: This is another position with big additions as well. The biggest move is the signing Jamie Collins and bringing him back to New England. He is on a cheap deal, so he will be extremely motivated to play. Ja’Whaun Bentley showed promise last year, but he suffered a season ending injury early in the year last season. He looks healthy and will play a big part in the defense. Dont’a Hightower and Kyle Van Noy are also back, and those are two veteran players who will play great this season.
Secondary: This is another position with a lot of depth of veterans and young players. All-Pro Stephon Gilmore is looking to have another great season, and he’s joined by Jason McCourty, Devin McCourty, Patrick Chung, and Duron Harmon, with the last three being staples of the Patriots’ defense for the last few years. Jonathan Jones is back for his second season, while Duke Dawson will make his debut after spending last season on the IR, and second round pick Joejuan Williams will look to make an impact in his rookie season. There is a lot of talent in this secondary that should pose a problem for opposing offenses.
This 2019 Patriots roster might actually be better than the team that won the Super Bowl last season. They filled some holes at receiver and created a bunch of depth across their roster. The only two weak spots for this team are TE and K. It is impossible to replace Gronk, so you should not expect a high level of production from the tight ends this year. They will not be unstoppable, but they should get the job done. Stephen Gostkowski has struggled the past couple of years including week one of the preseason where he missed a 37-yard field goal. If Gostkowski does continue to struggle, this might be the year that the Patriots finally move on from the veteran kicker.