Nine years ago, Belichick and his Patriots were getting ready for the 2010 NFL draft, but that doesn’t mean they weren’t looking to dominate the upcoming season. As explained by coach Belichick, the main focus wasn’t the player’s current position but their future. The coach then chose Devin McCourty as the first-round pick later that month and Brandon Spikes being the second alongside Rob Gronkowski.
A year later, each of the three was becoming key contributors, and they contributed to five AFC championships within eight years. Philosophically, a player’s importance from the first year to the second as a pro has always been a key point for Belichick and essentially a tenet of what his Patriots have built in the last two decades. The importance and growth of that 2010 class is an excellent example, though no evidence’s better than the foundation pieces of the franchise.
During his first year as Foxborough heads coach, Belichick led the team to a record 5-11. The following year, he flipped that into 11-5 like an online sports betting NY pro and won the championship, after presumably learning from his past experience. His quarterback threw three passes during his rookie season on the bottom of the chart, though Tom Brady did what needed to be done to be sure he was ready if he got the opportunity in year two – and it did.
Today, England’s roster is designed in a way that the players elevating from the first year to year two have an opportunity to make a huge impact before the end of their second calendar. In some cases, whether the players seize the opportunity can help make or break the season at Gillette Stadium. Here are the top patriots that joined the league in 2018 and could carve a meaningful role this season.
- CB Duke Dawson
An all-SEC cornerback, Dawson was chosen by the Patriots as the 56th overall pick in heir 2018 draft. He was later relegated due to a hamstring injury at the beginning of the season, though New England added him to their roster in November. However, he hasn’t appeared in any game for the Patriots, so it’s hard to know where he fits.
- OT Isaiah Wynn
With Trent Brown’s departure, there’s an opening in New England’s left tackle. Given that Wynn was the 23rd pick in last year’s draft, he will most likely be the one to take that position. However, he lost his rookie season following a tear in his Achilles in the preseason. He was recovering from the injury in this spring’s OTAs, forcing Joe Thune to shift from his spot.
- CB J.C Jackson
Jackson was not a member of the New England nine-man draft class last year, but his skills booked him a spot on the roster after the preseason. By year-end, he was already a crucial piece defensively, playing at least 79% of the defensive snaps in the Patriot’s final five season games. He broke up two passes during the divisional round and two in the AFC title game.