Projecting the Patriots best starting defense for 2024

Going with the defense that provides the best chance to win
Philadelphia Eagles v New England Patriots
Philadelphia Eagles v New England Patriots / Kevin Sabitus/GettyImages
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The Patriots' defensive backfield starters

Adding strength will be the Pats' defensive backfield. It will start with top cornerback, second-year player, Christian Gonzalez. Before injury curtailed his rookie season, Gonzalez showed why some considered the pats' first-round pick the best cornerback in the 2023 draft. He was just beginning to demonstrate those lofty qualities when a shoulder injury derailed his season. He'll be back and will cover the opposition's best receiver.

Manning the other corner will be veteran, former undrafted free agent, Jonathan Jones. It's hard to believe the veteran soon-to-be 30-year-old, will be entering his ninth year for the Pats. He's a cornerback who always gives you a solid day's work. Jones may not be spectacular, but he'd be an asset to any NFL defensive backfield, and he's versatile, to boot. He'll be the Pats' second cornerback.

At safety, the strength continues for the Patriots on a defense that if fully healthy will give NFL offense fits. The starter at free safety is the popular, hard-hitting Jabrill Peppers. Peppers has been embraced by Patriot Nation since he joined in 2022. Able to play in the box or deeper, he'll take the deep spot in 2024.

Peppers had 78 stops, a sack, and two interceptions in 2023 while playing mostly on the line of scrimmage. He'll shift back to playing deeper and start at free safety which he played in Cleveland in 2018. The objective is to get your best 11 players on the field and Peppers is one of them. Additionally, strong safety will be well-manned by another top player, the recently re-signed, Kyle Dugger.

Dugger had a fine 2023 with 109 tackles, 1.5 sacks, and two interceptions. He's one of the stars of the defensive backfield. He'll provide quality whether he's in the box, covering a tight end, or in any other role the defensive coordinator, Demarcus Covington assigns him. Whatever that assignment is, Dugger will excel at it.