Chase Winovich
The Patriots found a star with Chase Winovich. For the first time in a long time, New England has a real pass rusher again which should scare the rest of the NFL. (Timothy Bouwer/ISI Photos/Getty Images)

The New England Patriots looked like they were in trouble before the start of the 2020 NFL Season. New England suffered eight opt-outs and somehow contemplated starting Jarrett Stidham, who flat out can’t play. More so than anything, the defense looked like it could take a significant step back.

In free agency, New England lost Kyle Van Noy, Jamie Collins, and Elandon Roberts. The Patriots also lost Dont’a Hightower and Patrick Chung due to opting-out. Someone had to step up for the Patriots for them to remain a top tier defense. In classic Patriots style, they found their next star. Chase Winovich is a bonafide baller.

Winovich, 25, was selected in the third round of the 2019 NFL Draft after the former Michigan product showed huge flashes of potential at the college level. Rashan Gary may have been the guy who came with the athletic profile and shiny 5-star rating. However, it was Winovich that was the better player in college.

As a rookie, Winovich showed promise notching six sacks. Thus far, in 2020, the golden haired pass rusher has taken his game to a new level.

Winovich ranks in the top ten in both run and pass rush in rate. PFF has Winovich ranked 2nd in pass rush win rate. Either way, you slice it, Winovich is playing well. It’s added a component to their defense that’s been missing.

For many years, the Patriots have failed to replace Chandler Jones. Sure, Trey Flowers did an excellent job for a few years, but he was more of a three-technique. For the first time in a long time, the Patriots have a feared pass rusher.

Winovich checks in at 6-foot-3, 250, and just shy of 33-inch arms; he doesn’t have crazy measurables, but Winovich is technically sound and comes with a nonstop motor. The Patriots found themselves a pitbull that never stops barking.

Once again, the Patriots are a good football team (shocker). The development of Winovich thus far is the most prominent storyline on the defensive side of the ball. New England has a pass rush again, and that should terrify the rest of the NFL.