5 second-year Patriots players who need to step up in 2024

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Sidy Sow

The Patriots drafted three interior offensive linemen in 2023. Jake Andrews only played 71 snaps in the regular season. He seemed to have been drafted because the team expected David Andrews to retire, but he's still going.

Atonio Mafi played six times as many snaps. He allowed five sacks on the 458 he played in the regular season. But that's not all. Mafi also drew seven penalty flags. The Patriots can only hope that neither has to play many snaps in 2024.

Fourth-round pick Sidy Sow was a different story, though. He was projected to be a seventh-round selection, as there were some worries about his ability to deal with speed rushers. The Canadian played on 772 snaps in his rookie year, allowing five sacks but only conceding two penalties.

The Eastern Michigan product played left tackle and left guard during his college days. In 2023, he slotted in at right guard when Mike Onwenu was moved to right tackle.

With a new offensive coordinator and, more importantly, a new offensive line coach, it's impossible to know what the Patriots' offense will look like in 2024. One thing is for sure: having failed to recruit a specialist left tackle in free agency, they also missed out on drafting one.

Chukwuma Okorafor is slated to get the first chance to prove his worth there, but he's never played left tackle in a regular-season game. Presumably, Mike Onwenu will be second in the queue, with another right tackle, Caedan Wallace, also in the mix.

With so much potential disruption up front, Sow's experience in a chaotic 2023 will hold him in good stead. It wouldn't even be a surprise to see him have a chance at left tackle by the end of the year.

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