Tom Brady was obviously the headline departure at the start of last season for the Pats, but they lost some serious talent on defense and several opt-outs didn’t help their cause either.
The transition year that followed was inevitable, but they went into the off-season with holes all over the roster.
It was an unusual situation in free-agency as Bill Belichick had the chance to be aggressive for once with a lot of cap space, and it does look like a lot of needs were addressed.
They went from having no tight-end play for years to taking the two biggest names in free agency with Hunter Henry and Jonnu Smith, while the defense received plenty of help too.
The obvious question remained at QB as Cam Newton didn’t really impress as last season went on, but that may have been addressed in the 1st round of this draft:
New England Patriots 2021 NFL Draft Picks:
Many thought that Mac Jones would be taken by San Francisco at number 3, but he started to slide down the board and New England didn’t even need to move to grab him.
It’s always dangerous to start dishing out grades before rookies have played a snap, but there is a lot of praise for this group with Barmore being rated as the best DT in the class and Ronnie Perkins could also be a steal in the 3rd if he plays up to his potential.
Belichick has instantly talked about Newton being his QB for this season so Jones may have to sit for a year, but he should get a fair chance to compete for the starting job and it’s still too early to tell on that one.
There’s no doubt that the Pats should at least be competitive again this season, but the standard of QB play will be one of the main deciders of how far they can go.