The New England Patriots’ season ultimately ended up in disappointment. Despite a dominant defense, the Patriots’ offense struggled at times and the team would end up losing in the Wild Card Round for the first time since 2009.
And even though it didn’t end as many wanted it to, the Patriots still went 12-4 in the regular season and had plenty of top-caliber players on the roster. Among those impact players are those of whom who took their games to the next level and broke out in 2019.
Many of New England’s best players in 2019 were established talents but that doesn’t mean a few players that rose above their previous expectations to enjoy solid seasons.
After being selected by the Indianapolis Colts in the first round of the 2015 NFL Draft, 5-foot-10 receiver Phillip Dorsett has been largely a disappointment.
And while the speedster was in no means a star for the New England Patriots this season, the fifth-year pro was an underrated weapon for the team when he was needed.
Dorsett’s five receiving touchdowns this season marked a career-high and was the second-highest total on the team. And although Dorsett did most of his damage in the first half of the season, he still provided a solid auxiliary option in the passing game for a Patriots team that desperately needed it.
Despite starting just two games for New England in 2019, third-year pro Adam Butler cemented himself as one of the best players on New England’s defensive line and hopefully an impact player for years to come.
The former undrafted defensive tackle enjoyed by far his best season as a pro in 2019. Butler recorded 26 tackles and ranked second on the team with eight tackles for a loss. The 6-foot-5, 300-pound tackle also registered six sacks (third on the team), nine quarterback hits and five passes deflected.
Butler’s effectiveness in short spurts was a major factor for New England this season and his ability to get in the backfield should excite Patriots fans.
The Patriots had high expectations for Winovich after selecting the pass rusher in the third round of the 2019 draft so maybe his solid season isn’t a big surprise. However, the former Michigan star was effective as a rookie nonetheless.
Winovich appeared in all 16 games for New England this season but didn’t make a single start. Regardless, the rookie flashed elite pass-rushing potential and recorded 20 tackles, 10 quarterback hits, and 5.5 sacks.
I’m expecting yet another leap for Winovich in year number two as it seems that New England has found yet another diamond in the rough in the middle of the draft.