The New England Patriots have always been renowned for their remarkable yearly consistency. Much of that stems from the reliable health and performance of their leaders.
Come fall, Tom Brady will be slicing up defenses with his precision, Vince Wilfork will be wreaking havoc on the line and Jerod Mayo will be making tackles sideline to sideline.
However, the difference between a good and great team usually lies in the roster's middle class. Sure, Brady gives the Pats a chance to win every game, but New England's past playoff losses have turned on the likes of Marquice Cole, who couldn't cover Anquan Boldin, and Patrick Chung, who botched a fake punt attempt against the New York Jets three seasons ago.
The Patriots will need several players to break through to propel them into legitimate Super Bowl contention. As Paul Kruger, Victor Cruz and James Starks have shown, players who have big roles on championship teams are often overlooked at the beginning of the year.
With that, here's a look at the five players most likely to break out and become stars for the Patriots in 2013.
*All stats were taken from Pro-Football-Reference.com