Musket Blasts: Patriots and NFL Draft Links, 7/27

Chandler Jones Signing Patriots Fans Autographs

Chandler Jones was a popular guy on the first day of Patriots training camp. (Photo: US Presswire)

NEPD Editor: James Christensen

Come back every Monday, Wednesday and Friday as I choose my five favorite New England Patriots and NFL Draft links to share. Feel free to submit your own links in the comments.

Josh McDaniels is “settling in” again in Foxborough. (ESPN Boston)

“The tight ends are different, the backs are a lot younger. Things have changed,” McDaniels told reporters after the Patriots finished up practice in front of more than 12,000 fans. “There’s a few different coaches on our staff, but I think that happens at every team every year in the NFL, and we just adapt. And we are so used to doing it by now, it kind of comes with the territory.”

Wes Welker is not worried about his contract. (WEEI)

So what if Welker, who is entering his sixth season with the Patriots, goes out and has another 90 catch season with 900 yards and 15 TDs? What if this time he catches the ball that seals the Super Bowl victory for the Patriots in New Orleans? What if the Patriots next March do the very same thing and franchise him for what would likely be one year in the neighborhood of $11 million? Worried?

Utah’s Star Lotulelei is our favorite defensive tackle for the 2013 NFL Draft. (CBS Sports)

In 2007, the state of Utah produced a massive defensive tackle, touted by recruiting observers as one of the best in the nation. Utah’s Star Lotulelei, now pegged by many NFL Draft analysts as the country’s top interior defensive lineman and a potential top-10 pick, was in that recruiting class, too. Only Lotulelei, now a 315-pounder, was an unheralded three-star prospect who weighed 240 pounds. Few people knew his name.

Some of the best images from Patriots training camp as well as a recap of the first day of Patriots practice. ( / NEPD)

For the first time since they left the field as losers in Super Bowl, the Patriots were back on the field with a more complete and perhaps a better team than they had in January. What were the highlights of day one?

Chad Johnson says he “felt restricted” in New England. Shocking. (ESPN)

“I’m going back to my normal ways,” Johnson told the newspaper after a photo shoot for Zico Coconut Water. “My normal ways, when I was at my best, when I got fined, look at the production those years. Usually things don’t go right when you try to change the way you do things. I’m back to normal.

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