The New England Patriots have been trying something different recently, and they haven’t been keeping it a secret.

In an effort to keep up with recent trends, Bill Belichick and company have made a concerted effort at adding speed up and down the roster. Don’t believe us? Let’s take a walk down memory lane.

The date is April 30, 2022, and Patriots director of player personnel Matt Groh is addressing the media following the 2022 NFL Draft. He’s asked about the public perception of New England’s picks — which was fairly negative — and gives a revealing answer.

“You want to get faster, you’d better get fast guys,” Groh said. “I don’t know how many guys out there are faster than Tyquan (Thornton). So, we’re really excited to be able to add him and his explosive playmaking. He is fast. … Tyquan and Marcus Jones, they’re certainly tough guys, too, but at their positions, at the skill positions, they are fast.”

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There you have it, the Patriots wanted to get faster and they did just that. Thornton’s unofficial time at the 2022 NFL Scouting Combine would have broken the record, while Jones turned heads as a triple-threat burner for New England last season.

They weren’t done there, though. New England would follow up its speedy 2022 draft class with one that was even faster in 2023, selecting cornerbacks Christian Gonzales, Ameer Speed and Isaiah Bolden.

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How do we know those guys are fast? Well, other than the fact that one of their names is legitimately Speed, we got some help from “Madden 24.”

The “Madden 24” rankings have trickled out ahead of NFL training camps opening up, and all three of the Patriots’ rookie corners ranked favorably in their position’s speed rankings. Speed and Bolden each were given a 95 in the category, good for the fourth-best mark at the position. Gonzalez slotted in two spots behind them with a 93. New England even got some validation in Thornton, who had the sixth-highest mark among wideouts with a 96.

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You can find the full rankings here.

The trend is real — especially in the gaming world, as nine of the ten fastest players on the Patriots roster were drafted or signed as undrafted free agents within the last three seasons (shoutout Jonathan Jones). It remains to be seen whether or not this newfound speed will translate to wins, but there’s no doubt New England is moving forward with a plan in place to get much, much faster.

Featured image via Gregory Fisher/USA TODAY Sports Images