10 Most Pivotal Patriots Ahead of 2020 Season

Getty NKeal Harry

Bill Belichick is going to be a great coach in 2020 as he has been throughout his tenure with the New England Patriots. Stephon Gilmore will continue to be elite at CB, and the team has other proven strengths that will shine. However, the following 10 players will determine how far the team goes in what figures to be a strange 2020 season.

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N’Keal Harry

N'Keal Harry – Every Touch – 2019 New England Patriots NFL Regular SeasonThanks for watching! If you enjoyed it, please like & subscribe for more great content! Follow me on Twitter: @BostonSport12 Go Boston! If you're able to help me out at all to continue making you all great videos, even a spare $1 would help as I aim to get more hard drives to back everything up, better equipment etc: paypal.me/BostonSport2020-01-01T13:58:34Z

After a rookie season that was impeded by injury and what some might have considered slow development, the athletic and driven 2019 first-round pick is in a position in 2020 where he must show exponential growth.

For the Patriots offense to be as potent as it needs to be, Harry needs to turn himself into a weapon down the field, and the team’s primary target on offense. It’s a big ask, but one that is fair for a player drafted in the first round.

Julian Edelman

GettyJulian Edelman

No one aside from Gilmore and perhaps Dont’a Hightower is as consistent as Julian Edelman on the roster. Edelman’s placement here is not on the same grounds as Harry. We all know what Edelman can do.

However, there are two major points of focus for him heading into 2020, and that’s health and chemistry with a new QB. Edelman has been banged up, though not missing games. And considering he’s into his mid-30s, he must be especially aware of his recovery. Also, the 2020 season will be the first time he’s had to catch passes regularly from someone not named Tom Brady.

There will be an adjustment period. How quickly he’s able to get on the same page with his new QB is vital.

Devin Asiasi

GettyDevin Asiasi is tabbed by the New England Patriots

While Devin Asiasi wasn’t a first-round pick, it almost seems like he was because of the hype and the maneuvering the Patriots did to get him and Dalton Keene on draft day. Asiasi has unquestionable physical gifts and the Patriots desperately need him to become a dependable option as a pass-catcher.

Pickings are slim at tight end behind him, and the position has been so important to the Patriots over the years. It would be a huge help to the passing and running game if Asiasi can find his footing quickly.

David Andrews

David Andrews - Patriots

GettyDavid Andrews is solid, but can he stay healthy?

This is all about health. David Andrews has already proven to be one of the best centers in the NFL, but after missing all of 2019 with blood clots, it’s impossible not to think about him possibly missing more time.

Andrews is arguably the most important piece of the Patriots’ offensive line, which is always important, but even more vital in front of a young quarterback. If Andrews is on the field for every game in 2020, that will be an automatic plus.

Chase Winovich

GettyChase Winovich

It seems as though Chase Winovich is poised for a breakout year. He showed flashes of being the second coming of Clay Matthews Jr. in his rookie season but seemed to slow down a bit in the final eight games.

If Winovich can take the next step and make himself a double-digit sack guy. He had 5.5 in 2019.

Beau Allen

GettyBeau Allen spoke on George Floyd situation

The nose tackle on a Patriots defensive line is often among the most unsung of the unit’s heroes, but there is no questioning their importance. Danny Shelton wasn’t exactly Vince Wilfork in the middle in 2019, but he was still rock solid. Shelton was so good in his role, former Patriots assistant and current Detroit Lions head coach Matt Patricia inspired his new team to pluck the hefty lineman in free agency.

Beau Allen was signed to fill Shelton’s role. To be honest, Allen doesn’t look to be quite as natural fit for the role, but we’ll have to see how it pans out. Like Shelton, Allen doesn’t have to be as potent as Wilfork, but he does need to be consistent to ensure the team is stout up the middle on defense.

Ja’Whaun Bentley

Ja'Whaun Bentley's Journey: Overcoming adversityPatriots linebacker Ja'Whaun Bentley takes us back to where he grew up to meet his family, as well as to learn about his journey to the NFL. Subscribe to the New England Patriots YouTube channel: http://bit.ly/2IOD2e9 For more Patriots content: https://www.patriots.com/ Like us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/newenglandpatriots/ Follow us on Twitter: https://twitter.com/patriots Follow us on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/patriots Get the app: https://apple.co/2vvd8mU2019-10-03T00:15:00Z

With the departure of Kyle Van Noy, Jamie Collins and Elandon Roberts in free agency, Ja’Whaun Bentley will be in a position to make a significant impact on defense. The 23-year-old is entering his third year in the NFL, and he’s had his first two seasons to play behind Hightower, Van Noy, and Collins.

With rookies like Josh Uche and Anfernee Jennings coming to the squad, Bentley must prove he’s the next man up while also setting the foundation for the “young” players, who in actuality are very close in age, but not in pro experience.

Kyle Dugger

VideoVideo related to 10 most pivotal patriots ahead of 2020 season2020-06-20T11:32:20-04:00

The Patriots traded out of the first round and made their prize pick of the draft Lenoire Rhyne’s Kyle Dugger. He’s a freakish athlete who could potentially impact the team as a safety, nickel corner, and even as a return man.

The Patriots’ secondary is arguably its deepest unit, though you’ll get some arguments from the running backs on that front. In any case, Dugger needs to add potency and versatility to that secondary which will only make the already strong defense even better and thereby lightening the load on the less-proven offense.

Jeff Thomas/Isaiah Zuber/Damiere Byrd

Miami WR Jeff Thomas Highlights 🌪️ ᴴᴰSubscribe, Like this Video & Turn On Notifications! (↓↓ click show more ↓↓) Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/justbombsproductions/ Twitter: https://twitter.com/JBP_Official Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Just-Bombs-Productions-255863801590167/ Miami WR Jeff Thomas Junior 5’9 170 lbs Miami WR Jeff Thomas looked to be a future college football star in his Freshman season, but then faced a lot of challenges. He was dismissed from the team, but then returned. His career just never took off like people expected, but he was still a nice playmaker for the Canes. At the NFL Combine, Thomas measured in smaller than expected, but still ran a pretty good 4.45 forty yard dash. Check out my backup channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCT48sLMEjRc40Ts-cm70E3w Intro song: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6k1FRzJn5VI ▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬ Welcome to JustBombsProductions! The #1 source for NFL Draft Highlights. Subscribe to watch the best college football, basketball & baseball highlight videos. Feel free to comment any requests in the comment section or send me a DM on Instagram!2020-04-25T20:56:46Z

I cheated here a bit. The headline says 10 players, so technically this is 12, but only one of these players really needs to perform at a high level to help the Patriots on offense and special teams.

VideoVideo related to 10 most pivotal patriots ahead of 2020 season2020-06-20T11:32:20-04:00

Nothing is more helpful to an offense and defense than a deadly return man. Undrafted free agents Jeff Thomas and Isaiah Zuber both have that ability, as does free agent burner Damiere Byrd. If one of them establishes themselves as a deadly specialist in this area, they will instantly make the team better.

Damiere Byrd Highlights (Short Instagram) New England Patriots#DamiereByrd #Patriots #Cardinals2020-03-20T11:39:46Z

Also, all three players have the propensity to become deep threats because of their ability to stretch the field. It’s not out of the question one of the three could play the role the team hoped Phillip Dorsett would fill the last three years.

Jarrett Stidham

VideoVideo related to 10 most pivotal patriots ahead of 2020 season2020-06-20T11:32:20-04:00

This is the most obvious one on the list, which is why I saved him for last. Forget about Brian Hoyer, and that’s no disrespect to the veteran in his third stint with the Patriots, but that’s exactly the point.

If Hoyer was good enough to carry the Patriots anywhere close to where they’re accustomed to being, he wouldn’t be in his third run with the team. Point blank, if Hoyer is starting for the Patriots in 2020, it’s safe to immediately lower your expectations for the season.

Jarrett Stidham has first-round talent and exciting youth on his side. That combination equals hope for something special. Will he be an All-Pro performer in Week 1? Probably not. There will be growing pains, but Stidham must be a little more than a game manager by making teams pay with the occasional high-difficulty throw to keep teams honest, and on the other hand, he must protect the ball.

Anything more than 10 or 11 interceptions on the season is probably going to be a disaster for him and the Patriots.