Here’s how Pro Football Focus ranked the Patriots’ roster against the rest of the NFL

Here’s how PFF ranked the Patriots’ roster against the rest of the NFL going into the 2022 season originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston

The New England Patriots many key players have lost this off season.

The defense has been hit particularly hard, with the number 1 cornerback JC Jackson leaves to join the Los Angeles Chargers in free agency. Linebacker Kyle Van Noy was released, while linebackers Jamie Collins and Dont’a Hightower have not been signed as free agents.

The offensive line lost both of its starting guards in Ted Karras (Free Agency) and Shaq Mason (Trade).

The only notable additions made this off-season are: wide receiver DeVante Parker (trade), running back/wide receiver Ty Montgomery and cornerback Malcolm Butler (free agency).

How does the new Patriots roster compare to the rest of the NFL? Pro Football Focus recently revealed his roster ranking for all 32 teams. The Patriots came in at number 18.

What is the biggest weakness the Patriots roster still faces? Ben Linsey of PFF aimed for the cornerbacks.

“The patriots starting outside cornerbacks are Jalen Mills and Terrance Mitchell or the recently non-retired Malcolm Butler, as things stand now,” Linsey wrote. “That talent doesn’t match what New England has done on defense in recent years, including last season when it finished second in the 1st coverage class. It doesn’t take much imagination to see that cornerback group visible in a man-heavy plan that could force the patriots into more zone coverage by 2022.”

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It’s not hard to imagine that the Patriots’ attack in 2022 will be better. Starting quarterback Mac Jones had a strong rookie season and should continue to improve in year 2. The addition of Parker gives the passing attack a much-needed threat from the outside. James White is returning from injury and the running back group as a whole is among the best in the league. Hunter Henry was a prolific tight ending last season, and Jonnu Smith should be much better in his second year with the team.

The real question marks are on the defensive side of the ball. We saw the Patriots give up seven touchdowns in a 47-17 loss to the Buffalo Bills in the 2021 AFC Wild Card round. And that was before this defense lost a pair of veteran starters, including its best cornerback, during the current offseason.

Unless we see a surprisingly impressive defense performance next season, it’s hard to imagine the Patriots returning to the AFC playoffs.

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