The New England Patriots won Super Bowl LIII in large part because of their fantastic offensive line. The unit didn’t allow a single sack to the Kansas City Chiefs in the AFC Championship Game and minimized Aaron Donald in the Super Bowl. Four of the five starters will return for 2019, but what does the rest of the Patriots offensive line depth chart look like after minicamp?
New England Patriots Offensive Line Depth Chart
The Starters: Isaiah Wynn, Joe Thuney, David Andrews, Shaq Mason, Marcus Cannon
Barring injury, this unit is set in stone. Four of the five starters return from the 2018 squad and combine to form what should be one of the best offensive lines in the league. Joe Thuney, David Andrews, and Shaq Mason are all among the best at their respective positions and could easily be the best interior offensive line in football. Marcus Cannon isn’t quite on that level, but he’s still a reliable starter.
The wild card here is left tackle Isaiah Wynn. New England selected Wynn in the first round of the 2018 NFL Draft, but the Georgia product missed his rookie year with an Achilles injury. Having never played a professional snap, nobody knows if he’ll be able to handle an NFL workload. His college tape implies he’s up for the job, but he is undersized relative to the typical NFL tackle. Still, even with Wynn’s relative uncertainty, the Patriots should have one of the best lines in the league protecting the soon-to-be 42-year-old Tom Brady.
The Rookie Depth: Yodny Cajuste, Hjalte Froholdt
New England invested two of their mid-round draft picks in tackle Yodny Cajuste and guard Hjalte Froholdt. While neither currently project as starters, they should be top backups at their respective positions.
Cajuste is a much better player than his third-round status indicates, but his injury history caused his draft stock to fall. The West Virginia project missed mandatory minicamp but should be ready for the regular season. Froholdt, meanwhile, is a typical Patriots mid- to late-round offensive line selection. The Arkansas product has the versatility to play both guard and center but a lack of quickness and strength caused him to fall into the fourth. With Joe Thuney a free agent after 2019, look for Froholdt to spend the year building up his NFL game before competing to start in 2020.
The Experienced Depth: Ted Karras, Cole Croston
The first seven players on the depth chart are locks, leaving Ted Karras and Cole Croston battling for the final spots on the roster. Karras initially arrived in New England back in 2016 and has been valuable depth ever since. The Illinois product has played adequately in limited opportunities and can line up all across the interior offensive line. He’s exactly the type of depth you love to have at the guard position.
Croston, meanwhile, has spent the past two seasons bouncing on and off New England’s active roster. While he has the ability to play guard, he provides the most value as a tackle. On paper, he’s fourth on the depth chart behind Wynn, Cannon, and Cajuste. However, New England opted to use Joe Thuney over Croston at left tackle in minicamp. The Patriots should look to add Donald Penn or some other free agent offensive tackle to improve their depth.
The Longshots: James Ferentz, Tyler Gauthier, Cedrick Lang, Brian Schwenke, Dan Skipper, Tyree St Louis
It’s hard to imagine anyone on this list earning a spot on the roster. Barring absolute calamity, these players are battling for spots on the practice squad.
Last Word on New England Patriots Offensive Line Depth Chart
The New England Patriots had one of the best offensive lines in football last year, and they should carry over their success into 2019. The Patriots are bringing back four of their five starters while replacing Trent Brown with 2018 first-round pick Isaiah Wynn.
New England’s starting line is set in stone, but the depth players can still fight for the top backup positions. Incumbents Ted Karras and Cole Croston are batting with rookies Hjalte Froholdt and Yodny Cajuste, respectively. It’s anyone’s guess if Froholdt can usurp Karras for the top interior backup, but Cajuste should easily overtake Croston for the swing tackle position.
Top to bottom, this is one of the most talented offensive line depth charts in the league. While they could certainly use more experience at tackle, this should remain one of the best all-around units in football. With Tom Brady entering his age-42 season, New England can rest easy knowing the offensive line has what it takes to protect their franchise cornerstone.
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