There’s a strong list of potential breakout candidates on the Patriots going into the 2021 season. Between all the new players brought in via free agency and the players entering year’s 2 or 3, here’s 7 Patriots that will have breakout seasons:
1 - Kyle Dugger, S
Dugger had some ups and downs during his rookie season but overall was very good. He started seven of the last eight games and got better with each week. He will be your week 1 starter at Safety and has a chance to be this defense’s leading tackler in 2021.
2 - Kendrick Bourne, WR
Bourne is a solid slot receiver who is coming off a career season in San Francisco. He had 49 catches for 667 yards in 2020. With Edelman out of the picture, Bourne has a shot to fill that role of a hybrid slot outside receiver. The Patriots QB play will have a lot to do with Bourne’s success.
3 - Damien Harris, RB
Some may say Harris has already broken out but in reality his 691 yards in 2020 is just scratching the surface of what he can become. I expect him to push 1,000 yards and triple his touchdown production in 2021.
4 - Josh Uche, LB
Showed the ability to get after the QB in flashes last year, he feels primed to make a jump in 2021 and become a more consistent LB. The Patriots have great depth at LB which could hurt Uche but I think he will get his shot and take advantage of it.
5 - Gunner Olszewski, WR
Gunner was an All Pro punt returner in 2020 but I expect him to play a bigger role on offense in 2021. He even has a chance to be a better return man but where he will really breakout is at WR. It usually takes guys like him a few years to really breakout, just look at guys like Welker, Edelman and Amendola.
6 - Davon Godchaux, DT
Talented player that underachieved early in his career but if anyone is going to get the best out of him it’s the Patriots. I think of guys like Alan Branch and Lawrence Guy who underachieved before coming to New England and playing well, Godchaux could be next in line.
7 - JJ Taylor, RB
Speaking of next in line. We’ve gone from Faulk to Woodhead to Vereen to Lewis to White and JJ Taylor might be the next scatback up. James White is up there in age and a passing of the baton seems likely.