Who are the New England Patriots’ top three players entering the 2022 NFL season? Ask 100 people and you probably get 100 different answers.
One of those was recently given by Pro Football Focus writer Ben Linsey. Naming the top three players for each team in the league, Linsey brought up the following three for New England: quarterback Mac Jones, center David Andrews and linebacker Matthew Judon.
The rationale behind the selections was given as follows:
The Patriots have built much of their roster with quality players, but there isn’t much high-end star power to fall back on. Jones had, by far, the most promising rookie campaign of any of the first-year quarterbacks in 2021, but that wasn’t a very high bar to clear. His uncatchable pass rate was a top-five mark among all quarterbacks last year, and that ball placement will continue to be what he hangs his hat on.
Judon produced as a pass-rusher in his first season in New England with 61 quarterback pressures (12th among edge rushers), and Shaq Mason’s departure via trade leaves Andrews as the team’s longest-tenured and most reliable offensive lineman. Andrews’ 79.6 PFF grade in 2021 ranked fifth among qualifying centers.
Jones, Andrews and Judon are building-block players either due to their positions, leadership skills or projected performance in 2022 and beyond. They were not the only ones considered, however: guard Michael Onwenu, safety Devin McCourty and defensive tackle Christian Barmore also were named as candidates.