The New England Patriots have endured change along the offensive front, but according to ESPN’s recent offensive line projections, the team is still slated to have one of the better units in the NFL.
A list projecting pass-blocking and run-blocking rankings for teams in the upcoming 2022 season had the Patriots sitting pretty, despite losing key veterans like Shaq Mason and Ted Karras.
The Patriots’ offensive line landed in at No. 10 on the list with the 10th projected pass-blocking ranking and 15th run-blocking ranking. ESPN’s Seth Walder wrote:
“The Patriots lost two fairly strong guards this offseason in Shaq Mason and Ted Karras — they were ninth and 11th in PBWR last season, respectively, with Karras also finishing 14th in RBWR. But the versatile Onwenu is a solid replacement, even though the model will assume Strange is below average — as it does for all rookies.”
There’s clearly quality veteran talent along the offensive front with the responsibility of opening up lanes for running backs and keeping quarterback Mac Jones standing upright in the pocket.
Of course, rookie first-round draft pick Cole Strange does come with some question marks. It’ll be interesting witnessing his development in actual game situations.
This unit will once again face a lot of pressure if the separation issues for receivers continue. It could mean Jones needing extra time in the pocket to find the open man.
But if the Patriots’ offensive line can keep the second-year quarterback from getting clobbered, the team will have a fighting chance in 2022.