NEPD Contributor: Dan Hope
Every rookie goes into their first NFL training camp with an opportunity to prove himself, and a necessity to prove himself should he want to earn immediate playing time with his team. Many rookies are already taking advantage of that opportunity for New England Patriots, and look ready to take on immediate on-field roles for one of the NFL’s premier teams.
The rookie acclimation process is an important one for the Patriots this season, as they are relying at least somewhat on rookies to step up in a number of areas where their veteran presence is thin. While it may be too early yet to draw conclusions on the Patriots rookie class after just eight training camp practices, numerous Patriots rookies are already turning heads and outshining veteran counterparts.
In the three training camp practices I have attended thus far, the rookie standouts have ranged from second-round picks Jamie Collins and Aaron Dobson to undrafted free-agent signings Zach Sudfeld and Kenbrell Thompkins, all of whom who are expected to make an impact for the Patriots this season.