Standout guard Shaq Mason headlines the list.
Pro Football Focus released its annual list of the top 101 players, and five Patriots made the cut this season: guard Shaq Mason (35), cornerback J.C. Jackson (71), center David Andrews (75), guard Michael Onwenu (84), and safety Adrian Phillips (90).
Here’s a closer look:
PFF gave Mason a grade of 88.3, noting that he recorded an 87.2 run-blocking grade and allowed 16 pressures despite blocking for a rookie passer in Mac Jones.
“New England pieced its offensive line back together this season, and the unit began to really dominate once again, with Shaq Mason playing some of his best football at right guard,” Sam Monson wrote in PFF’s review.
Mason is in his seventh season, all with the Patriots, and is slated to become an unrestricted free agent in 2024.
The eye test says Jackson was better than the 71st best player in the NFL this season, but that’s where PFF has him with a grade of 78.9.
He picked off eight passes and broke up 12, and the intended receiver caught just 51 percent of passes thrown Jackson’s way. Jackson is currently an unrestricted free agent, and his future with the Patriots remains unknown as he eyes a big-time contract.
“Few players can lay claim to being the kind of ballhawk that Jackson has proven to be over his NFL career,” Monson said.
Andrews is arguably the most reliable and consistent player on the roster, and he earned a grade of 82.4. He played 1,149 snaps this season and allowed 18 pressures from 654 pass-blocking snaps, per PFF.
“He surrendered only one sack all season and recorded good grades as both a run-blocker and pass-protector,” Monson wrote.
He won’t be come an unrestricted free agent until 2025.
Onwenu has impressed at multiple positions and shown his versatility early in his career. This past season, per PFF, he played both left guard and right tackle for at least 200 snaps and allowed just 11 pressures over 340 pass-blocking snaps.
“For some reason, Onwenu was the player forced to make his way to the bench when everybody got healthy on the New England offensive line,” Monson wrote. “His play certainly doesn’t justify that move.”
Onwenu, who earned a grade of 88.3 in 632 snaps, will become an unrestricted free agent in 2024.
PFF noted that Phillips his damage all over – at the line of scrimmage, in the box, deep in coverage, in the slot, and even split wide. He had four interceptions and five pass breakups.
“Phillips was a do-it-all player for the Patriots this season,” Monson wrote.
He won’t become an unrestricted free agent until 2025.
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