The NFL season is right around the corner, with the Patriots kicking things off a little less than a week from today. The summer was full of competitions, additions, and subtractions throughout the roster. Cutdown day featured a number of surprises, as well as a few late additions. We’ll look at each player on the Patriots 53 man roster, with this article focused on the offense.
New England Patriots Roster: Offense
Entering a make-or-break third year, Mac Jones will finally have the support of a real offensive coordinator behind him. Last year was marred with injury and inefficient play calling — and play making. He needs this to be his best season yet; the expectation is it will be. The Patriots aren’t looking for monster numbers from him, but consistent and smart play will go a long way with this team.
The Patriots added Corral two days after the initial cuts. Since he was claimed off waivers from Carolina, he immediately became part of the active roster. Corral was a highly touted prospect coming out of Ole Miss last year, but injuries and off-the-field concerns dropped his draft stock. It makes sense for the Patriots to take a flyer on a recent top prospect with high-end talent.
Stevenson had a breakout year in 2022, but it was apparent he was wearing down at the end of the year. The Patriots view him as a do-everything feature back. He will be heavily used in the New England offense.
Zeke Elliott was added late in training camp after both second-year backs failed to provide any competition. He will bring a confident swagger to the locker room and a competitive attitude to gameday. He’s no longer the game-breaker he was a few years ago, but will be efficient in all aspects of the game while spelling Stevenson.
Henry has proven to be Mac’s go-to guy on offense the last two years. His production took a dip last year (whose didn’t in that offense?), but should bounce back in a big way, as new offensive coordinator Bill O’Brien utilizes more 12 personnel. Henry should return as a red zone monster in 2023.
Gesicki is the counter-punch to Henry in 12 personnel. He fits as the athletic receiving type in the dual TE offense. Gesicki was putting together a nice career in Miami before a massively underwhelming 2022 campaign in Mike McDaniel’s offense. He will be another Mac favorite if he can stay on the field.
Bourne was in Patricia’s dog house last year, but when he did play, he produced at an impressive clip. Possibly New England’s most explosive receiver, he has put together a fantastic summer and should put up career numbers in a very important contract year.
Parker has always shown flashes of a dominant jump-ball receiver; his problem has always been his ability to stay healthy. When Parker is on the field, he will provide a high-end boundary target in the offense, with jump ball ability in the red zone. Parker is a potential highlight every time he’s on the field.
Patriot Nation is notorious for begging for “weaponzzzzzzz” every offseason. Smith-Schuster is the least talked about receiver this year after being added in free agency. Smith-Schuster will do a lot of work between the numbers, and do most of his damage after the catch.
His draft mate, Kayshon Boutte, grabbed more headlines during the draft and throughout the summer, but it was Douglas who immediately cemented his status as a starter in the offense. Douglas received veteran treatment throughout the preseason, and teammates have huge expectations for him headed into his rookie campaign. He has a great chance at being the next in a long line of productive slot receivers in New England.
Once heralded as a surefire first-round pick, Boutte fell to the sixth round due to injury and off-field concerns. He was a bit of a slow burner this summer before becoming white-hot the last two weeks of training camp. The Patriots valued him enough to keep six wide receivers on the initial roster and go thin at other positions rather than chance him on waivers. Boutte may be a frequent gameday inactive before catching a case of the Foxboro Flu to give him a redshirt season in the pros.
How the line performs will determine how the offense performs. How the line performs all starts in the middle with captain David Andrews. Andrews has struggled with injury and medical scares the last couple of seasons, prompting the Patriots to draft his eventual replacement in April. As long as he is on the field, he will provide consistent, high-level play.
Perhaps the Patriots’ most enigmatic lineman, Brown, has a chance to be an All-Pro or benched at any time. When he is motivated, there aren’t many linemen better than him. Unfortunately, there has been some difficulty keeping him motivated for the last two years. Brown is in the final year of his contract and may be motivated to try to find one last big payday.
Onwenu has been the Patriots’ best offensive lineman since he entered the league in 2020. Onwenu had ankle surgery late in the offseason, making his status for the start of the season a question. It wouldn’t be surprising if the Patriots eased him back in since he missed all of training camp.
The Patriots first-round pick last year was a surprise to some. Strange was streaky last year, but would go a long way to stabilizing the line with more consistent play. Unfortunately, Strange was injured on the first padded practice of training camp and just returned to practice last week. He may be eased in, as well.
Anderson signed with the Patriots after playing with the Broncos last season. He was a capable swing tackle, but seemed to struggle as a full-time starter. Anderson was putting together a strong spring before a mysterious illness kept him out of team activities until last week. His status is uncertain heading into the season. The team hasn’t placed him on the PUP or NFI list, but it may be unrealistic to expect him to play immediately.
The heir apparent at center, Andrews was drafted in the fourth round out of Troy. Andrews provides an athletic presence at center. The team would prefer Andrews develop for a year or two before letting him take over the center of the line.
The Patriots acquired Lowe from the Vikings prior to cutdown day. Lowe was a sixth-round pick by the Vikings in 2022. During his rookie year he appeared in four games, primarily at left tackle. He is an athletic tackle who should slide in as the Patriots swing tackle.
Mafi enters the league with the Patriots after being taken in the fifth round out of UCLA. Mafi is a mauler at right guard who would be fun to be see get a carry or two at the goal line.
The Pats brought Reiff aboard in hopes he’d be a band-aid at right tackle for this season. Unfortunately, Reiff has played below expectations and was subsequently moved inside to guard. He adds a veteran presence in the room, but shouldn’t see much time unless injuries decimate the depth chart.
Sow was taken a round ahead of Mafi and also played guard throughout his college career. During training camp, the team slid him out wide, where he has primarily stayed at tackle. Sow has a lot of strength at the point of attack, but is still learning to recognize certain schemed pass rushes. Sow very well could develop into a solid pro, but should only see spot duty this year.
Tyrone Wheatley Jr.
Wheatley was acquired from Cleveland for second-year running back Pierre Strong the same day the Pats acquired Lowe from the Vikings. Wheatley went undrafted in 2020 and spent the next two years playing in The Spring League and bouncing around practice squads before finding a home with the Browns. He doesn’t have much NFL experience, but was putting together an extremely strong preseason in Cleveland. The Pats will hope he develops into a solid swing tackle.