New England Patriots: David Andrews emerging as a top center

FOXBORO, MA - OCTOBER 1: Rob Gronkowski
FOXBORO, MA - OCTOBER 1: Rob Gronkowski /

The New England Patriots are midway through their season. One of the best players for them has been center, David Andrews.

Through eight games, the New England Patriots have a 6-2 record and are on top of the AFC East. Despite a 2-2 start to the season, the Patriots have been winners of their last four games.

To start the season, the Patriots had a few glaring issues. Early on, the defense was getting torched by everyone they faced. Also, the offensive line was struggling to open up running lanes for running backs and were also doing a poor job protecting Tom Brady.

As a 40-year-old quarterback, letting Brady get hit as often as he has been is certainly something that the team doesn’t want to see. The troubles to protect Brady have mostly come on the edge. Both tackles Nate Solder and Marcus Cannon have had their issues this season.

While the offensive line has struggled as a whole, one player that has done very well for the Patriots is David Andrews.

As a young offensive lineman, Andrew has emerged as one of the top centers in the NFL. According to Pro Football Focus, Andrews is graded as the third-best center in the league. Only Alex Mack of the Atlanta Falcons and Jason Kelce of the Philadelphia Eagles have higher overall grades than Andrews at the center position.

Where Andrews has really shined is as a run blocker this year. So far, Andrews is graded as the 4th best center at run blocking this season.

While Cannon has certainly improved over the past few weeks, the Patriots still need Solder to improve at left tackle. With the Patriots on a bye this week, hopefully, Solder will be able to get a bit healthier

Next: 16 most important moments in Patriots' dynasty

In the second half of the season, the Patriots will have to hope their offensive line continues to improve. Brady has taken more hits this season than the Patriots would have liked to see, and that will be one of the focal points moving forward.