For many reasons, it has been a critical offseason for the New England Patriots.
Finding a new offensive coordinator, upgrading certain positions, and trying to find ways to get more out of Mac Jones. So far, the team has addressed some of these areas, and while some moves haven’t exactly been the sexiest, they have addressed needs.
By adding depth to the offensive line and keeping most of the defense together, the Patriots have gotten off to a good start this offseason. The team has also upgraded by bringing in three key skill position players on offense, and all three should play a part in making the offense more dynamic.
Smith-Schuster is one of the most polarizing players in the league at the moment but possesses tremendous skill and traits that make him a great receiving target for a young, developing quarterback.
He is among the top wide receivers in yards after the catch, ranking in the top ten in the AFC last season with 455. By comparison, Jakobi Meyers totaled just 236 yards after the catch last season, which could’ve been part of why the Patriots chose not to re-sign him.
Having a receiver who is great at getting yards after the catch is a fantastic fit for a quarterback who prides himself on being accurate, especially on short throws, because it allows for you to put the ball in the hands of a playmaker and let them make a play. In addition, Jones and Smith-Schuster should be able to develop a strong connection next season, making things easier for the entire offense.
Another key acquisition to the offense was the addition of Gesicki, who, despite having a down year last season, was productive in the red zone, with all five of his touchdowns coming inside the 20. Giving Jones another option in the red zone makes the offense that much more dangerous as it forces the defense to not focus on just one or two particular players.
Also, Gesicki’s combination of size and speed makes him a matchup problem for opposing defenses.
Having a player like this allows the team to put said player in multiple spots on the field, allowing you to be dynamic as an offense and less predictable. While not the splashiest addition, Gesicki should be an essential part of the offense in 2023.
Robinson’s role in the offense is less clear with the number of running backs currently on the roster, but he has tremendous upside, as evidenced by his strong rookie season.
In just 14 games in 2020, Robinson totaled 1,070 yards rushing and 344 yards receiving, showing his ability to be productive in both areas. If Robinson can be anywhere close to that production, he not only becomes a player that can spell Rhamondre Stevenson occasionally but can also give Mac Jones a much-needed safety valve to get the ball to if things break down.
The Patriots sorely missed having a traditional pass-catching running back in 2022 without James White, but hopefully, with the addition of Robinson, the Patriots can add that dynamic back into the offense in 2023.