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New England Patriots Roster Breakdown in 2020

| September 3, 2020 8:36 am PDT
New England Patriots Roster Breakdown in 2020

Did you really think Bill Belichick was content leaning on Jarrett Stidham to open the season? The Pats are turning to the reins over to a former Auburn quarterback, it’s just not the one we were preparing to see.

Cam Newton arrives on an incentive-laden deal, and perhaps he’s the savior that the New England fan base was searching for.

Coach Belichick’s defense should still be among the top units in football, but it’s worth noting that key pieces like Kyle Van Noy and Jamie Collins are no longer with the team.

I’ve organized New England Patriots depth charts by position so that you can see exactly what “The Hoody” is working with.

*Names in bold denotes player is a starter

Patriots Quarterback Depth Chart

Cam Newton
Jarret Stidham
Brian Hoyer
Brian Lewerke
J’Mar Smith

It’ll be strange seeing someone other than Tom Brady under center in Foxborough, but that’s the reality of 2020. Cam Newton surely wants to prove that he’s got a lot left in the tank, and his dual-threat capabilities are going to open up the playbook for OC Josh McDaniels.

Jarrett Stidham gets demoted to the backup job, while 34-year-old veteran Brian Hoyer will play a key role in Stidham’s development.

Brian Lewerke and J’Mar Smith are both undrafted rookies who will begin the year on the practice squad.

Patriots Running Back Depth Chart

Sony Michel
James White
Rex Burkhead
Brandon Bolden
Damien Harris
Dan Vitale
JJ Taylor

One position the Patriots have sufficient depth at is the running back. Sony Michel will get most of the work on early downs while James White returns as one of the premier pass-catching RBs in the sport.

Rex Burkhead can do a bit of everything — including occasionally line up as a fullback — and will likely play around a quarter of the snaps.

In the event that Sony’s offseason foot surgery deters him from being ready on time, look for second-year runner Damien Harris to step in and fill the void.

Patriots Wide Receiver Depth Chart

Julian Edelman
N’Keal Harry
Mohamed Sanu
Damiere Byrd
Marqise Lee
Matthew Slater
Jakobi Meyers
Jeff Thomas
Gunner Olszewski
Will Hastings
Isaiah Zuber
Quincy Adeboyejo
Sean Riley
Devin Ross

The Pats have a slew of young receivers waiting in the wings on the practice squad. The problem is none of them are prepared to contribute in 2020.

It’ll be up to Julian Edelman and Mohamed Sanu to carry the load, and it’s crucial that N’Keal Harry pans out. Damiere Byrd may factor in after a decent stretch last season in Arizona, but it’s not something Coach Belichick can count on.

Patriots Tight End Depth Chart

Matt LaCosse
Devin Asiasi
Dalton Keene
Ryan Izzo
Rashod Berry
Jake Burt

This is where things get a bit underwhelming, especially considering Rob Gronkowski used to be here and dominate the seams on a weekly basis. Matt LaCosse isn’t going to do a whole lot (13 catches for 131 yards in 2019), which is precisely why New England plucked a pair of tight ends during the third round of the 2020 NFL Draft.

If both Devin Asiasi and Dalton Keene flop, we could be looking at the weakest tight end room in the league.

Patriots Offensive Line Depth Chart

Position Starter Backup Third String
Left Tackle Isaiah Wynn Yodny Cajuste Justin Herron
Left Guard Joe Thuney Jermaine Eluemunor Hjalte Froholdt
Center David Andrews Dustin Woodard
Right Guard Shaq Mason Michael Onwenu Najee Toran
Right Tackle Marcus Cannon Korey Cunningham

David Andrews returns after missing all of 2019 with a pulmonary embolism, which paved the way to let Ted Karras walk. Isaiah Wynn is a young left tackle the organization is really excited about, while Joe Thuney, Shaq Mason, and Marcus Cannon are well regarded as stalwarts in the trenches.

Patriots Defensive Line Depth Chart

Defensive End Defensive Tackle
Lawrence Guy Beau Allen
John Simon Adam Butler
Chase Winovich Byron Cowart
Deatrich Wise Jr. Bill Murray
Derek Rivers
Nick Thurman
Nick Coe
Courtney Wallace

New England plucked Beau Allen from Tampa and will split time with Adam Butler in the middle. And while Lawrence Guy and John Simon are penciled in as the starters, I suspect Chase Winovich is the defensive end in Foxborough we’ll be talking about midway through the season.

Patriots Linebacker Depth Chart

Dont’a Hightower
Shilique Calhoun
Ja’Whaun Bentley
Brandon Copeland
Josh Uche
Anfernee Jennings
Terez Hall
De’Jon Harris
Cassh Maluia
Tashawn Bower
Kyahva Tezino

This group took a big hit in free agency, losing Kyle Van Noy (Dolphins) and Jamie Collins (Lions), but thankfully, Belichick did some replenishing via the draft. Josh Uche and Anfernee Jennings figure to see ample playing time as outside linebackers.

Dont’a Hightower assumes an even bigger role as the bona fide leader of the Patriots’ front seven.

Patriots Cornerback Depth Chart

Stephon Gilmore
Jason McCourty
J.C. Jackson
Jonathan Jones
Joejuan Williams
Justin Bethel
D’Angelo Ross
Lenzy Pipkins

2019 reigning NFL Defensive Player of the Year Stephon Gilmore is among the favorites to repeat as the winner, while Jason McCourty is as disciplined as they get.

The Pats picked off a league-high 25 passes in 2019, in large part thanks to 16 from the trio of Gilmore, McCourty, and J.C. Jackson.

Patriots Safety Depth Chart

Devin McCourty
Patrick Chung
Adrian Phillips
Terrance Brooks
Kyle Duggar
Cody Davis
Malik Gant
Myles Bryant

The stellar play from the safeties in New England was a big reason they were the league’s top-rated defense in 2020. Devin McCourty and Patrick Chung do a tremendous job executing Bill Belichick’s game plan, plus Adrian Phillips arrives via free agency just a couple of seasons removed from being a First-Team All-Pro.

Patriots Special Teams Depth Chart

  • Kicker: Jake Bailey
  • Punter: Justin Rohrwasser
  • Long Snapper: Joe Cardona
  • Holder: Jake Bailey
  • Punt Returner: Mohamed Sanu, Julian Edelman
  • Kick Returner: Brandon Bolden, Matthew Slater

The Stephen Gostkowski era is finally over. After toying around with the likes of Nick Folk, Kai Forbath, and Mike Nugent, the hope is that rookie Justin Rohrwasser will be the real deal. The Marshall University product wasn’t lights out by any means as a collegian, but he’s got a powerful leg and possessed enough upside to catch the attention of Bill Belichick.

That’s got to count for something.

Patriots Roster Analysis

  • Grade: C+

I agree with Noah Davis that the Patriots will be among the best fantasy defenses in 2020. However, the other side of the ball makes my stomach queasy. The offense lacks punch, it lacks leadership, and it lacks dynamic weapons who can push the ball down the field.

It’s reasonable to think this offense will struggle to sustain drives, and the Pats’ run of dominating in the AFC East could very well come to a screeching halt.

Betting on the New England Patriots in 2020

Now that you know exactly what Belichick and his staff have at their disposal, you can feel a bit more confident betting on the Patriots in 2020.

Here are a few ways to get involved.

Michael Wynn
Michael Wynn

As a former Division I collegiate golfer, Michael Wynn loves writing about golf. He's also an expert in most of America's most popular sports, writing extensively for GamblingSites.com on football, basketball, and baseball.

Michael's a Las Vegas native and has been with the company since 2017.

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