Patriots veteran one of four highest-graded linebackers by PFF in 2023

New England Patriots linebacker Jahlani Tavai was the fourth-highest graded linebacker in the NFL in 2023, per Pro Football Focus.

Tavai was one of the unsung heroes of a Patriots defense that ranked in the top-10, despite the 4-13 finish by the team. The unit held up its end in keeping things competitive on the field, but they failed to overcome one of the worst offenses in the league.

Tavai was a game-changer and constant disruptor when he was on the field. Former coach Bill Belichick clearly noticed it due to the sudden uptick in snap count. Tavai’s usage rate jumped 24 percent from the previous season to him being used in 74 percent of the Patriots’ defensive snaps.

He finished the season with 110 total tackles, two interceptions, two forced fumbles and five pass deflections. His 86.6 PFF grade only ranks behind Tyrel Dodson, Fred Warner and Demario Davis.

Tavai is entering the peak of his career, and he’ll have added motivation playing in a contract year in 2024. The veteran linebacker is positioned to make some serious noise for a Patriots defense that is never mistaken for a pushover.

Story originally appeared on Patriots Wire