4 new Patriots players who will be upgrades this season

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TE Mitchell Wilcox

It's not the most difficult position to upgrade on the Patriots outside of Hunter Henry, but with the failed tenure of Mike Gesicki last year, signing Mitchell Wilcox is an underrated upgrade.

Belichick signed the former Dolphins tight end in free agency to work with Bill O'Brien, who had recruited him to Penn State, hoping he would be more of a jumbo receiver than a tight end. He had a pretty good career with the Dolphins over the previous five years, but his lack of skills as a blocker hindered his value at the position.

Because Henry was solid in that area, the Patriots could use him in that role and throw Gesicki down the field. But he never made much of an impact on the offense, no matter what he was tasked with, resulting in him signing elsewhere in free agency earlier this year.

That opened the door for Wilcox to be signed, which is an instant upgrade since he is more of a blocker than a receiver.

He's received fair grades from PFF as a pass blocker during his three-year career so far, and with massive changes being made to the offensive line ahead of the upcoming season, he could immediately be a big asset to the offense.

Wilcox won't, however, help make up for the loss of Pharaoh Brown, who signed with the Seahawks in free agency. The 30-year-old had the best statistical season of his career with the Patriots, becoming a secret weapon for Mac Jones and Bailey Zappe, so they'll have to look elsewhere for an upgrade in that role.

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