5 Patriots with the most to prove during the 2024 season

Washington Commanders v New England Patriots
Washington Commanders v New England Patriots / Maddie Meyer/GettyImages
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Cole Strange

The selection of Cole Strange in the first round of the 2022 draft became a laughingstock across the league. It wasn't because the Patriots took a guard with their first pick of the weekend; it was the decision to take Strange, who was widely projected to go far later in the draft.

On the surface, it felt like a questionable decision but sensical given the Patriots need on the offensive line. And once Strange got into a groove during his rookie year, it seemed like New England put the doubters to shame.

But that didn't last long, as Strange's production fell as the season progressed. He became more inconsistent and lacked proper protection on Mac Jones, ultimately allowing five sacks, 17 hurries, and 23 hits on the quarterback.

His performance worsened in 2023, with the guard's stats ending nearly identical to the previous year. But what makes it even worse is that he played in seven fewer games, and his season ended due to injury after playing in ten games for the year.

Besides his performance seemingly making 2024 a prove-it year for Strange, the Patriots also drafted two offensive linemen last month, including a guard who is expected to play on the left side. It seems the new regime is not all too trusting of Strange's performance, and now he will need to fight to keep his job this summer.