Graduation of the rookie class at the Patriots minicamp

Graduation of the rookie class at the Patriots minicamp

NFL fans and experts have shared their views on the Patriots’ 2022 NFL Draft selections and many members of this 10-player category have not scored high. Of course, none of this matters, as it is impossible to rate a draft category before you see the players qualify for regular season games.

This highly abused rookie class, however, is off to a good start. During this off-season, members of the media attended a total of four practices between organized group activities or OTA and minicamp. It seems that the Patriots have found several players who could have an impact. Although we only had a brief taste of these players, many impressed this spring. The real test will be when the pads are placed during the training camp, which starts on July 27th.

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The following is a summary of what we saw from the Patriots’ draft lesson this spring:

The Patriots' first-round draft pick, attacking player Cole Strange, is lined up in a three-point stop for an exercise during the OTAs in May.

The Patriots’ first-round draft pick, attacking player Cole Strange, is lined up in a three-point stop for an exercise during the OTAs in May.

Cole Strange, keeper

The selection of the first round of the Patriots was not made without controversy. Draft experts believe that Strange reached the 29th choice overall. Strange, however, it seems to have a direct impact. This off-season, he was placed in the left guard next to the original center David Andrews. This is similar to the story of Logan Mankins. Mankins was also considered a range in the first round, but started immediately. Strange has a great opportunity to prove that many people are wrong and that the Patriots are right. So far, the team must be happy as Strange looks like a key player in Day 1.

Speedy receiver Tyquan Thornton, the Pats' second-round pick, performs an exercise during the OTAs in May.

Speedy receiver Tyquan Thornton, the Pats’ second-round pick, performs an exercise during the OTAs in May.

Tyquan Thornton, wide receiver

The Patriots’ attack needed much more speed and Thornton was one of the fastest players in the 2022 NFL Draft. Nelson Agholor. Thornton caught seven passes in group exercises this spring, but only one from No. 1 General Mac Jones. The Patriots also worked him as a shooter in special teams. This could be a key for the rookie with so many veteran receivers on the roster.

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Cornerback Marcus Jones, the Patriots' third-round pick, is retiring from surgery but will have to compete for the backup cornerback position.

Cornerback Marcus Jones, the Patriots’ third-round pick, is retiring from surgery but will have to compete for the backup cornerback position.

Marcus Jones, corner

Jones, the Patriots’ third round of selection, returns from surgery on both shoulders. During training he wore a red jersey without contact. Jones was limited to position exercises at the beginning of each workout and did not actually participate in group exercises. This summer, he is expected to fight for the backup slot in the corner behind Jonathan Jones. He is also the leader to be the top player of the Patriots. It might be fun to watch him.

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Despite being just one pick in the fourth round draft, cornerback Jack Jack Jones may be ready to start for the Patriots.

Despite being just one pick in the fourth round draft, cornerback Jack Jack Jones may be ready to start for the Patriots.

Jack Jones, corner

The Patriots’ choice in the fourth round was also considered possible by the draft technicians, but Jones did not seem out of place during the OTA or in the minicamp. It looked like a possible theft. Placed opposite Jalen Mills in the corner. This seemed remarkable. The same could be said for his coaching performance. Jones intercepted rookie general Bailey Zape, repulsed another pass and then forced a corner kick by Angolor. After Strange, Jones is the next best rookie nominee to start for the Patriots this season.

Pierre Strong Jr., running backwards

The Patriots have great depth in the run with Damien Harris and Rhamondre Stevenson leading the group. An obvious point for Strong to fill would be third place back down. The Pats have James White recovering from a hip injury. The team also brought in veteran Ty Montgomery. Strong only caught two passes this spring from Zape, so he may not have a direct impact. He also trained as a comeback, which could be his way into the race day roster.

Patriots General Bailey Zappe, a fourth-round pick, throws during the minicamp in early June.

Patriots General Bailey Zappe, a fourth-round pick, throws during the minicamp in early June.

Bailey Zape, general

Planned in the fourth round, Zappe is clearly behind Mac Jones and Brian Hoyer in the depth chart. He worked with the third team attack in the spring – and that was no surprise. He showed a strong hand, but he must work with precision and touch. He threw two team-level cuts this spring, while completing 67% of his passes (22 out of 33) in team exercises. By comparison, Jones completed 87% (59 out of 68) and Hoyer 73% (30 out of 41) this spring.

With so much depth in the back-running position, Kevin Harris, who we saw here during the minicamp in early June, will be under a lot of pressure to build the team.

With so much depth in the back-running position, Kevin Harris, who we saw here during the minicamp in early June, will be under a lot of pressure to build the team.

Kevin Harris, running backwards

Harris is a dark horse to enter the roster of 53 men. He is behind Damien Harris, Stevenson, Montgomery, JJ Taylor and Strong in the depth chart. We gave him a party this spring. The backward position, however, is difficult to analyze when the pads are not fitted. An option in the sixth round, Harris will need a strong training camp and preparation to maintain a place on the roster.

Defensive end Sam Roberts, who we saw here during the minicamp in early June, is behind several veterans for a place on the roster.

Defensive end Sam Roberts, who we saw here during the minicamp in early June, is behind several veterans for a place on the roster.

Sam Roberts, defensive end

Roberts, a small school nominee from the state of Northwest Missouri, would be a great story if he were on the Patriots’ 53-man roster. The sixth round pick is behind Deatrich Wise, Matt Judon and Henry Anderson in the depth chart. This is another position that is difficult to analyze when contact is not allowed. Roberts has a chance to impress this summer. He will also need to show flexibility in the special teams to land on the roster of 53 players.

Chasen Hines and Andrew Stueber, offensive line

We never saw Hines or Stueber in an OTA or minicamp. Both players appeared to be recovering from injuries. There is room for a young guard like Hines to be on the roster of 53 men. He would have to show flexibility and beat Drew Desjarlais and Arlington Hambright. Tacklin’s position has more competition. Stueber will play backups Justin Herron, Yasir Durant, Yodny Cajuste and Will Sherman this summer.

This article first appeared in The Providence Journal: Who stood out in the rookie class at the Minicamp Patriots

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