Ranking impact of Patriots newcomers in 2020


While the Patriots didn’t make any huge splashes this offseason, they did add several players via free agency and the draft. 

Given the number of players lost this offseason, several of these newcomers will be counted on to make immediate impacts.

Here’s our list ranking the newcomers in terms of impact they will have on the 2020 team.

10. LB Brandon Copeland — Copeland signed a one-year deal after playing the last two seasons with the Jets. He will be one of the players who could help replace Kyle Van Noy, Jamie Collins and Elandon Roberts, but his biggest impact could come on special teams. The 28-year-old feels like a player Bill Belichick will find a spot on the team for even if he doesn’t contribute much on defense.

9. WR Damiere Byrd — There’s no guarantee Byrd even makes the team, which is why he’s this low on the list. But if he does, he likely would be the No. 4 or so wide receiver. Byrd hasn’t really been given the chance to show his full potential over his four years in the league, but the potential for a breakout year is there.

8. FB Dan Vitale — Vitale has a tough task replacing James Develin, but the running game will likely have a major role in 2020, so naturally he will be able to make an impact on the team. The 26-year-old has only one career carry, but 15 receptions in four seasons, which is also something to keep an eye on every once in awhile. 7. S Kyle Dugger — Many might think since Dugger was the Patriots’ first overall selection in the draft he would be higher, but given the players in front of him at his position and coming from D-II Lenoir-Rhyne, this could be more of a learning year than anything else. Sure, the athletic safety will see the field, but his biggest impacts will likely come in Year 2, 3 and beyond.

6. DL Beau Allen — While defensive tackle isn’t a huge impact position, it was already a thin one last year and then the team lost Danny Shelton this offseason. If things work out perfectly, Allen could potentially be the next Lawerence Guy. The 28-year-old hasn’t reached his full potential yet and could potentially do that with the Patriots this coming season.

5. TE Devin Asiasi — The Patriots got the worst production in the entire NFL out of the tight end position last season and will be looking for more this year. Two were selected in the draft — Asiasi and Dalton Keene — and we expect the former to make the biggest impact of the two given his ability to perform in the passing game. Keene is more of a gadget player who lines up all over the field, including in the backfield.

4. S Adrian Phillips -- Phillips is the type of player Belichick could have some fun with. While he’s a safety, he plays all over the defense and can do a number of different things, which have included lining up in the box as a linebacker to covering the speedy Tyreek Hill. The 28-year-old was an All-Pro in 2018 as a special teamer and already seems to be fitting in well with the Patriots secondary.

3. OLB Anfernee Jennings — The Alabama product finished with 13.5 sacks and 25.5 tackles for loss over his final two seasons at the school, so clearly he has the ability to make an impact. Given the losses at the position, it’s likely he will be given the chance to play a number of snaps and playing his college ball in the SEC only will help the transition. 

2. K Justin Rohrwasser — Rohrwasser certainly isn’t the most impressive name on the list, but right now he’s the only kicker on the roster. If he wins the job, he will have an impact on every single game, which is why he’s so high on the list. With that being said, there’s a great deal of pressure on him replacing Stephen Gostkowski, the franchise’s all-time leading scorer.

1. OLB Josh Uche — Uche and Jennings are similar players, but for some reason we expect big things out of the Michigan product even though he played roughly 20 percent of the snaps in his senior season. Some say he wasn’t used properly as despite limited snaps, he finished with 7.5 sacks and 10.5 tackles for loss last season as a senior. Uche also had a great week at the Senior Bowl, which allowed him to climb draft boards and ultimately be selected in the second round. We expect Belichick to get the absolute most out of him and therefore the potential is there for a huge rookie season.