Patriots Roster: 3 core players the team needs to build around

All might not be lost in New England.

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2. Demario Douglas, WR

Demario Douglas looks like a very promising player for the Patriots, who was a sixth-round pick in the 2023 NFL Draft. Douglas, affectionally known as "Pop," has 4.4 speed in the 40-yard dash and could be that explosive piece on offense that the Patriots have been lacking for years. He set a career-high in yards this past week with 54, and should only get better.

With the season likely already over, the Patriots should give Pop more run in the offense and should really test the player. They should put a lot on his plate as a rookie to see if he can handle the heightened responsibility. There's all the potential in the world with Douglas and could be a nice piece in the future on offense. His ability to stretch the field would be very welcome for this team.

3. Christian Gonzalez, CB

Christian Gonzalez was the perfect pick for the New England Patriots in the first round of the 2023 NFL Draft. He is exactly what the team needs in the secondary, but is currently on injured reserve, prematurely ending what would have been a Defensive Rookie of the Year type of season. In four games, Gonzo had three passes defended, 17 total tackles, one sack, one QB hit, and one tackle for loss.

He profiles as a true shutdown corner in the NFL if he can hit his stride. And to make matters better, we've seen a ton of young CBs in the NFL enjoy success early in their careers like Patrick Surtain II, Sauce Gardner, and fellow CB rookie, Devon Witherspoon. Gonzalez can eventually be that type of player who simply takes away one side of the field because of his elite coverage skills, and should be viewed as a foundational piece on defense for years to come.