Last season, I started an Instagram series called “The Morning After,” where I gave my key takeaways the following morning of the most recent game for the New England Patriots. The original thought was to provide a reaction to the game, after sleeping on the overall product, where things went right, where they went wrong.
The Patriots defense, although extremely well-coached and savvy, was athletically outmatched and frankly, outdated, for the modern NFL for a few years now. This offseason, New England made it a goal to modernize their entire system on both offense (with the new zone blocking, Shanahan-ish scheme) and defense.
The first move was relying on redshirted Cam McGrone and Raekwon McMillan, who were both injured all last season. McGrone was a 2021 fifth-round draft pick, and McMillan was a 2021 offseason acquisition that was turning heads before he wound up missing the entire season after getting injured in camp.
Fast forward to 2022, and the New England Patriots swapped 2019 third-rounder, Chase Winovich, with Mack Wilson Sr. from the Cleveland Browns in a one-for-one swap. Mack Wilson was highly-touted out of Alabama as a speedy, smaller linebacker, more aligned with the modern game. But he could not find his way onto the roster before being shipped out.