Patriots’ Rookie Running Backs Carry Some Earth, Wind and Fire

May 22nd, 2014

The vision and balance of Patriots fourth-round pick James White headlines a rookie running back trio. (USA Today Sports Images)

NEPD Editor: Oliver Thomas

The New England Patriots’ offseason roster delves eight deep at the running back position. But even after Stevan Ridley, Shane Vereen, Brandon Bolden, fullback James Develin and first-year player Jonas Gray, viable competition remains.

It comes in the form of rookies Stephen Houston, James White and Roy Finch.

Only one of whom was selected in May’s draft, yet each of whom carries the serviceability to warrant a 53-man roster selection.

The reality, though, is that not all of whom will. There are only 11 offensive players on the field at a time, and there’s only one football to go around. And given the sheer volume of candidates in New England’s wide-open rushing committee, taking part in both will be a tall order this summer.

Each will have to carve a role.

Based on the ways in which the trio was utilized in college, however, doing so won’t be far outside the realm of possibility. Read the rest of this entry »

2014 AFC East Rankings: Changes After the 2014 NFL Draft?

May 16th, 2014

NEPD Staff Writer: Ken Vetrano

How does the AFC East stack up after the 2014 NFL Draft?

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Patriots Could Catch Big Contribution From 5’7” Jeremy Gallon

May 13th, 2014

Jeremy Gallon proved he could play bigger than his size in the Big Ten. The Patriots are hoping the wideout can do the same at the next level. (USA Today Sports Images)

NEPD Editor: Oliver Thomas

Jeremy Gallon is the smallest wide receiver the New England Patriots have drafted in the Bill Belichick era. But even at 5’7” and 185 pounds, the seventh-round draft pick by way of Michigan has been known to make a contribution far greater than his stature.

That’s been evident since his days at Apopka High School in central Florida, where he played quarterback, running back and safety. Read the rest of this entry »

Patriots Post-Draft Roster Reset and Thoughts

May 12th, 2014

Easley is expected to make immediate contributions on the Defensive Line.

NEPD Editor: Mike Loyko

Now that the 2014 NFL Draft is in the books we get a pretty clear picture of what the Patriots 2014 Roster will look like heading into training camp this summer. Undrafted Free Agent signings are still trickling in and there will be a few more small signings before the summer, but for the most part the roster is in place. Here’s a breakdown of how the Patriots roster shapes up as of today, a few thoughts on where they stand and where they go from here.

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Finding the Value in Patriots Second-Round QB Jimmy Garoppolo

May 11th, 2014

Eastern Illinois’ Jimmy Garoppolo will run from the Ohio Valley Conference to the AFC East, as the Patriots found value in small-school talent at pick 62. (USA Today Sports Images)

NEPD Editor: Oliver Thomas

By the time other positions are addressed, it’s often too late to handle the most important one.

Head coach Bill Belichick and the New England Patriots acknowledged that on Friday night, selecting Eastern Illinois quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo with the 62nd overall pick in the 2014 NFL draft.

To some, it was a great reach.

Alternatives in Iowa tight end C.J. Fiedorowicz and outside linebacker Christian Kirksey were waiting, as was USC center Marcus Martin, Oregon State defensive end Scott Crichton, and Notre Dame nose tackle Louis Nix III. Each had their merit as a top-tier available player; each had the potential to become a Patriot. But the Patriots’ draft board was assembled differently.

To them, it was a great find. Read the rest of this entry »

2014 New England Patriots UDFA Signings and Analysis

May 11th, 2014

James Morris has a good chance of making the 53-man roster.

NEPD Editor: Mike Loyko

The 2014 NFL Draft just wrapped up, but the roster building continues. Signing undrafted free agents has been an important compenent to the Patriots organization over the last decade plus and this year is no different. Last year the Patriots had mulitple undrafted players make their roster and make an impact, don’t under-estimate the importance of these players.

Here is a list of the players the New England Patriots have signed to a rookie contract and a quick scouting report on what they bring to the table.

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2014 NFL Draft: New England Patriots Select Jeremy Gallon (WR, Michigan)

May 10th, 2014

Jeremy Gallon has a tough road to a wide receiver roster spot.

NEPD Editor: James Christensen

With the 244th pick in the 2014 NFL Draft, the New England Patriots have selected Jeremy Gallon (WR, Michigan) with the 244th pick of the 2014 NFL Draft. Read on for analysis.

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