15 most important Patriots for 2019: No. 5, Patrick Chung

With the Patriots off until training camp, we’re having a series featuring the 15 most important Patriots players for the upcoming season. The countdown will continue for the next several weeks.

No. 5: Patrick Chung

Position: Safety

2018 stats: 84 tackles, 1 interception, 3 passes defensed

Why he’s No. 5: Chung is one of the most underrated players in the entire NFL, but not to Bill Belichick as he's constantly raved about him over the years. The safety plays a unique role as he isn't just a strong safety that plays center field, he plays more near the line of scrimmage almost like a linebacker at times. He's also very good when it comes to covering tight ends and that is something the team has utilized quite a bit. He's also one of the toughest players in the league and rarely misses games.

The veteran safety missed Week 3 last season with a concussion and his impact was felt in a big way. The defense just cannot do some of the same things without him on the field. It also showed up in the Super Bowl when he was forced from the game in the second half due to a broken arm. Several players needed to step up and fill the void, as not just one player could do so. Chung is also one of the leaders of the unit and something that is underappreciated. He truly is one of the most valuable players on the unit.

Click here for the complete series to date.