Who are the most important players on the Patriots' roster heading into 2023?
2. JuJu Smith-Schuster
Right now, JuJu Smith-Schuster appears to be the WR1 of the New England Patriots for 2023. When Jakobi Meyers left in free agency, the Pats decided to effectively replace him with Smith-Schuster. JuJu did have a stellar 2018 season where he caught 111 passes for 1,426 yards and seven touchdowns.
He also had a nice bounce back season in 2022 with the Chiefs with 933 yards and three touchdowns. In all reality, Smith-Schuster is a high-end WR2, but he's got WR1 potential, and the offense will need a consistent pass catcher to revive the unit.
The Patriots do have other pass catchers who could have a nice impact, but none of them have showed the ability to be a top receiver at their position. Hunter Henry and Mike Gesicki can make a reliable TE duo, but I'm not sure either can be an elite pass catcher..
I feel the same way about DeVante Parker and Kendrick Bourne. JuJu is going to have to assume that role as he's shown the ability to do it in the recent past.