Expectations of Patriots’ fourth-year players
2. Josh Kline (2013 undrafted)
2013 stats: seven games (one start)
2014 stats: 12 games (four starts)
2015 stats: 14 games (13 starts)
After a few rocky first seasons in the league, Kline appeared in 77.6 percent of all offensive snaps for the Patriots in 2015, rotating in at both left and right guard. In the midst of his career year, the Patriots signed Kline to a two-year extension, and this is what my co-editor, Cyrus Geller, had to say after that news:
“If this deal happened last season, Pats fans would be in an uproar over the extension. However Kline has improved drastically over the last year, and other than Sebastian Vollmer, he has probably been New England’s best lineman. He is strong in the run game, and holds up very well in pass protection, as he has been the rock in the middle (alongside David Andrews) on an offensive line that has suffered a ridiculous amount of injuries this season.
“With Kline locked up for two more seasons, the interior of the Pats’ offensive line looks to be in great hands over the next little while. David Andrews, Bryan Stork, Shaq Mason, Tre’ Jackson, and now Kline should all be in Foxboro for a few years, giving them a talented, young, versatile, and deep interior offensive line.
2016 expectations: 13 games (11 starts)
The growth of Tre’ Jackson and Shaq Mason may squeeze Kline out of some playing time, but he will be one of the Patriots’ most dependable linemen in 2016.
Next: 1. Ryan Allen