Patriots positional projections and expectations: Offensive Line

Miami Dolphins v New England Patriots
Miami Dolphins v New England Patriots / Cooper Neill/GettyImages

The New England Patriots’ offensive line has been struggling since Dante Scarnecchia retired from the team in 2019 after 34 years in New England. To get things back on track, the Patriots hired one of their own former three-time Super Bowl winning lineman to lead the offensive line this season in Adrian Klemm.

Klemm rejoins the Patriots having much experience and success throughout his career. He’s revamped offensive lines and the total run-game production at every coaching position he’s held around the country and this shouldn’t be any different in New England. 

The addition of Klemm will bring back the roots and foundation that Scarnecchia instilled in this team for over three decades; a window of time that Klemm had the privilege in taking part of being coached by the best to ever do it.

Klemm inherits an offensive line that’s allowed the franchise quarterback in Mac Jones to get sacked 62 times over the last two seasons after drafting him 15th overall in 2021. Not to mention being at the near-bottom of the league in rushing yards per game last season, despite having a 1,000 yard rusher in Rhamondre Stevenson.

In rebuilding the offensive line, the Patriots signed two free agent tackles and drafted three versatile rookies who all have experience playing along the offensive line. It’s going to be in Klemm’s hands to reconstruct the offensive line this year and he has some great talent to do so.

Let’s evaluate the offensive line:


David Andrews

David Andrews has been the ultimate warrior for the Patriots. Originally signed as an undrafted rookie free agent in 2015, Andrews has started in 100 of 103 career games en route to becoming a two-time Super Bowl champion and six-time team captain for the Patriots. 

In 2019, Andrews was diagnosed with a pulmonary embolism, forcing him to miss the entire season. The following year in 2020, Andrews had surgery on his thumb, which placed him on injured reserve for a month at the start of the season.

Andrews has been rock solid throughout his career, and he still has another season’s worth of gas left in the tank, but he’s entering his 31-years-old season and it’s time to think of his successor.

Jake Andrews

No, this is not David’s brother. Jake Andrews was the first offensive player the Patriots drafted in 2023. At 6-foot-3, 305 lbs, Andrews was drafted as a center out of Troy but comes with experience playing along the interior of the offensive line in both guard positions. He recorded 2,796 career snaps, only allowing six sacks in 1,653 pass-blocking opportunities. 

Jake Andrews will likely back up David Andrews, but it’s worth keeping in mind that he’s versatile enough to play along the offensive line, so don’t be surprised if he’s getting snaps at guard. 


Cole Strange

Cole Strange is entering his second season in New England after he was drafted in the first round last year. He started every game as a rookie and looks to continue doing so in 2023. Strange recorded only five penalties in 984 offensive snaps, playing in 94 percent of New England’s offensive snaps last season.

Mike Onwenu 

This is a big year for Mike Onwenu, as he’s in the final year of his four-year contract and expected to become an unrestricted free agent in 2024. The versatile swing lineman has played all along the offensive line for the Patriots, logging 41 starts in 49 games as a former sixth round draft pick in 2020. 

Onwenu was on the field for 1,046 offensive snaps last season, which was good for 99 percent of the Patriots’ offense and only committed two penalties in 2022. He’s arguably New England’s best lineman but after drafting three interior linemen in 2023, he’s unfortunately going to be in the hot seat this season.

Sidy Sow

The Patriots drafted Sidy Sow in the fourth round as an experienced dual position offensive lineman having started 55 games in his career between two positions at left guard and left tackle. He’s 6-foot-5, 323 lbs, and moves fast on his feet, clocking in the 40-yard dash in 5.07 seconds. Do not be surprised if Sow winds up playing tackle. He has a lot to offer the Patriots and we should see that through camp and into the season possibly. 

Atonio Mafi

The Patriots traded back and obtained a fifth round pick in the Draft and used it to select the 6-foot-4 and 339 lbs versatile guard Atonio Mafi, who UCLA recruited as a defensive lineman. He switched to offense in 2020 and help lead UCLA to average over 200 rushing yards for three consecutive years and produced a 1,000-yard rusher for the first time since 1985. 

Mafi is a great combination of both size and speed, running the 40-yard dash in 5.35 seconds and hit 21 reps on the bench press at the Combine. I do believe Mafi can be valuable to the Patriots. 

Mafi reunites with Adrian Klemm in New England.


Riley Reiff

The Patriots signed Riley Reiff to a one-year deal worth $5 million in free agency. Reiff is 6-foot-5 and 313 lbs., 11-year veteran started 12 games for the Cincinnati Bengals in 2021 that went to the Super Bowl. He comes with plenty of experience, making him a great addition to the offensive line. It’s worth mentioning that Reiff is currently listed as the starting right tackle for the Patriots on ESPN. 

Calvin Anderson

The Patriots also signed Calvin Anderson to a free agent deal worth $7 million, bringing back a familiar face to New England’s locker room. He’s 6-foot-5, 300 lbs, and can play either tackle position. He moves well along the line and can handle defensive ends and linebackers coming around the corner for the quarterback. 

Trent Brown

Trent Brown has been an unfortunate cog in New England’s system and it’s too bad. When he’s at his best, he’s one of the best offensive tackles in the NFL. The Patriots signing two veteran free agents and drafting a trio of versatile offensive linemen, the writing could be on the wall for Brown in New England. 

Conor McDermott

Conor McDermott and the Patriots agreed on a two-year contract extension shortly after the 2022 season ended, following McDermott starting the final six games of the regular season last year at right tackle. At 6-foot-8, 305 lbs. he’s a versatile veteran that fits in well in New England and could be the reason the Patriots are open to the idea of parting ways with Trent Brown. 

McDermott will reunite with one of his coaches from UCLA in Adrian Klemm.  

In all, the Patriots are revamping their offensive line with only a few veterans. It’s worth mentioning that players like Mike Oweneu, James Ferentz, Yodny Cajuste, and Riley Reiff are all unrestricted free agents in 2024. The way this offseason has gone, it’s fair to say New England is ready to replenish their offensive line with younger, versatile talent.