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Here is a look at the Patriots’ defensive line

Lawrence Guy was an unsung hero for the Patriots' top-rated defense last season.Jim Davis/Globe Staff

It’s not easy for a 6-foot-4-inch, 315-pound man to fly under the radar screen.

Meet Lawrence Guy.

The Patriots burly lineman — an unsung hero of one of the league’s top defenses — can play any technique along the front and consistently produces, winning his one-on-one battles and clogging roadways like a DOT crew in the Sumner Tunnel.

Guy doesn’t possess the big personality of some his more well-known teammates, but it would be a big mistake to think he’s not been vital to this unit’s success over the last three seasons.

"He’s a hard guy to block, he’s got good power, uses his hands well, he’s instinctive, he recognizes plays well and plays very consistently,’’ coach Bill Belichick said in December. "He’s probably one of the most consistent players we have on our team.’’


Guy is one of the cornerstones of a defensive front that will be missing some familiar faces and adding some new ones from the last few seasons. Guy is entering the final season of a four-year deal and is scheduled to make a base salary of $2.9 million.

Here’s a look at the other guys who will be manning the trenches and living on the edge for the Patriots in 2020.

Adam Butler

Contract status: Signed through 2020.

Base salary for 2020: $3.259 million.

Adam Butler has seen a steady uptick in snaps the last couple of seasons.Jim Davis

Comment: Butler keeps getting better as his responsibilities increase. A testament to just how he’s viewed in New England is that the 2017 undrafted rookie was hit with second-round tender this month.

Pegged as a pass-rushing, sub-package interior specialist early in his career, Butler (6-5, 300 pounds) is a dependable player in all situations. He’s quick, athletic, and is effective at getting skinny, slicing through cracks to get to the ball. Also, he deflects more passes at the line of scrimmage than any man has a right to.


Beau Allen

Contract status: Signed through 2021.

Base salary for 2020: $1.3 million.

Beau Allen comes to Foxborough from Tampa Bay.Jason Behnken/Associated Press

Comment: Allen should slide into the rather large hole created by Danny Shelton’s defection to Detroit. At 6-3, 327 pounds, this classic nose tackle has the bulk to do it.

Allen is a high-energy player who has good quickness and impressive power. He can effectively occupy multiple bodies, allowing his teammates to pile up bodies.

Byron Cowart

Contract status: Signed through 2022.

Base salary for 2020: $675,000.

Byron Cowart tries to chase down Lamar Jackson.Jim Davis/Globe Staff

Comment: Injuries curtailed his rookie season, but there’s plenty of reason to believe Cowart can make a big jump and become a regular in the interior rotation. Cowart (6-3, 300 pounds) has an excellent combination of size, athleticism, arm length, and power to be a disruptive demon.

Deatrich Wise

Contract status: Signed through 2020.

Base salary for 2020: $2.133 million.

Deatrich Wise is entering a key season.Keith Bedford

Comment: An imposing figure at the end of the line, the 6-5, 275-pounder has excellent power and arms that go on forever and ever — allowing him to keep blockers at bay.

Wise has an infectious personality and teammates feed off his energy — particularly when he makes a big play on the field or pulls a funny prank in the locker room.

John Simon

Contract status: Signed through 2020.

Base salary for 2020: $1.5 million.

John Simon is an underrated part of the New England defense.Matthew J. Lee/Globe Staff

Comment: Smart, rugged player in the Rob Ninkovich mold. One of the toughest guys on the roster, Simon has been lauded by teammates and the coaching staff for his ability to set the edge in the run game.


Simon diagnoses plays quickly and, because he’s adept at shedding blocks quickly, always takes the most direct route to the ball.

Keionta Davis

Contract status: Signed through 2020.

Base salary for 2020: $675,000.

Keionta Davis has been able to fill multiple roles.Jim Rogash

Comment: Injuries have dogged Davis throughout his college and pro career but with a little luck he could become a lead dog for this defense. Davis is a well-built, 6-4, 280-pounder with the quickest play off the edge and the power to contribute inside.

Though he lacks game experience, this will be Davis’s fourth season in the program, which should give him a leg up on a lot of the other players vying for spots this summer.

Nick Thurman

Contract status: Signed through 2020.

Base salary for 2020: $610,000.

Comment: Intrigued to see what kind of jump this intriguing 6-4, 305-pounder can make in his second year in the New England system.

Thurman also has spent time with Texans and Buccaneers but has not been able to crack a 53-man roster. He was productive during his college days in Houston (92 tackles in 44 games) and possesses the quick step and size to possibly shuffle between end and tackle.

Jim McBride can be reached at james.mcbride@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @globejimmcbride.

Jim McBride can be reached at james.mcbride@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @globejimmcbride.