This offseason, the Patriots’ roster has undergone significant change. Tom Brady and Rob Gronkowski landed in Tampa Bay while key pieces on the defense have taken their talents to other cities.
The changes, however, will open up playing time for younger players who will look to fill the void. One of those pieces is Chase Winovich, who was drafted the third round of the 2019 NFL Draft.
So far this offseason, the Patriots have lost three linebackers in Jamie Collins, Kyle Van Noy, and Elandon Roberts. Due to their departures, the Patriots will be expecting their younger players and newest draft picks to step up. Due to the changes on defense, Winovich is expected to see a large increase in playing time and possibly a starting role.
Chase Winovich recovers the blocked punt and scores his first career NFL TD!!! pic.twitter.com/ZgTi7NrXQ6
— WC (@WolverineCorner) October 11, 2019
Although Winovich appeared in all 16 games last year, he was never able to secure a starting role. He saw some time on special teams, but the majority of his snaps came as a situational pass- rusher. While he entered the season with high expectations, the New England linebacker was inconsistent at times.
In Winovich’s rookie season, he had 5.5 sacks and 26 tackles. The Michigan product was also able to land 10 quarterback hits and four tackles for a loss. Although the Patriots linebacker got off to an impressive start in his NFL career, he only had one sack after Week 8.
Despite the Pennsylvania native’s second-half struggles, this upcoming season should see Winovich improve. Entering the draft, he was labeled as a relentless defender who never took plays off. In the former third-round pick’s rookie season, those traits were on full display.
Chase Winovich 😤#NEvsDET
— PFF (@PFF) August 9, 2019
As the second-year linebacker tries to earn a starting role, he will have a former teammate by his side. In last month’s draft, the Patriots selected Josh Uche, who played alongside Winovich at Michigan. Uche will look to help a Patriots defense that has become younger over the offseason.
While the Patriots prepare for a season unlike any other, they will be hoping that the Michigan product can establish himself as a key part of the future. The Patriots’ defense was one of the league’s best last year and still has Stephon Gilmore, Devin McCourty, and Dont’a Hightower.
Regardless of how the rest of the offseason progresses, Winovich will be presented with a golden opportunity this season. If Winovich can take advantage of this, it could be a year he may never forget.