2. Damien Harris
Fans in New England were hopeful that Damien Harris would break into the starting lineup as a rookie, but injuries ultimately derailed any chance of that happening.
As disappointing as that was, it was worth the wait, as Harris hit the ground running as a sophomore and really put a stranglehold on the starting job. In 10 games, the 2019 third-round pick tallied 137 carries for 691 yards (5.0 YPC) and two touchdowns.
Those stats might not look like much on paper, but anybody who watched Harris last campaign could see he looked the part of the Patriots’ running back of the future. We’re obviously on board with that notion, but the overlooked 24-year-old also has team MVP potential.
Damien Harris might be the Patriots’ X-factor on offense.
Harris was a big reason why the Patriots’ rushing attack finished fourth in the NFL in yards per game (146.6) last year. The Alabama product showcased a burst and decisiveness between the tackles that the likes of Sony Michel and James White (for obvious reasons) don’t offer.
To put it simply, the success of New England’s offense could be contingent on how Harris performs following his breakout year. If he finds success on the ground, that could set up play action and potential designed runs for Cam Newton.
Good luck stopping the Pats’ offense if that happens.