How do you follow up one of the most thrilling Super Bowl victories in the history of the NFL? If you're the 2015 New England Patriots, you look for the next men up to fill any percieved holes and aim for the top once again. These next three players are primed and ready to shine under Bill Belichick and his staff's tutelage this coming season.
TE Tim Wright
Wright shined in the void left behind following Aaron Hernandez's legal troubles, complementing Rob Gronkowski to the tune of a career-high six touchdowns in 2014. Shipped to New England from Tampa in the Logan Mankins trade, the second-year player saw his targets drop by over 50% (76 to 33) with the Patriots. However, his effectiveness and targets will only increase as a) he becomes more comfortable and b) Gronk occupies half of opposing secondaries in two tight-end sets.
CB Malcolm Butler
Never discount the power of confidence. Butler had an uneven rookie campaign in 2014, but his star turn during the Patriots' storybook ending to Super Bowl XLIX may be just the elixir the kid needs to develop that certain swagger top NFL cornerbacks always seem to possess. The talent is there and the reps are helping, so expect Butler to shine in an extended role come next season.
DE Chandler Jones
Here's Jones' chance to make the leap from very good to dominant. If he can put the hip problems of 2014 behind him and come back with at least 90-95% of his natural force, watch out. Jones amassed six sacks in a hobbled state last season, and could very well leave imprints of quarterbacks all over the nation in 2015 to the tune of 14-16 sacks (or more).
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