Musket Blasts: Patriots and NFL Draft Links, 7/25

Visanthe Shiancoe Tight End

Visanthe Shiancoe is now a New England Patriot. (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.

I’m ready to watch the Dolphins on Hard Knocks. (

Many of claimed this season of Hard Knocks will lack star power, Super Bowl level talent, and worthwhile storylines. While many have claimed that it could be a “lesser” season of the popular show, there are no shortage of storylines to follow as we follow this young team still full of unique schematic changes, unique characters, and rare, heartwretching stories.

Free agent tight end Visanthe Shiancoe signed with New England. (Pats Pulpit)

This deal, with the amount of guaranteed money and incentives, reflects that the Patriots likely intend for Shiancoe to be on the team’s final roster come September. Because of that, it’s easy to connect the dots on Daniels Fells. Fells has missed the majority of offseason activities due to a leg injury that was initially considered routine. However, he was placed on the active/PUP list to begin training camp, and with the Shiancoe signing, it appears likely that Fells could be out for an extended period of time, and could land on the reserve/PUP list.

Montee Ball was advised he would be a 3rd round draft pick – not sure he’ll go too much higher than that this year. (

Less than three months after deciding to return to UW for his senior season rather than turn pro, tailback Montee Ball had added about eight pounds and weighed in at 215. Ball, who rushed for 1,923 yards and 33 touchdowns as a junior, appeared to run through and away from defenders with ease throughout the spring.

Scouting PAC-12 Sleepers – that conference is loaded with talent. (

The Pac 12 is considered to be one of the most elite conferences in America, its filled with talented players all over the place and sometimes that means other players get overlooked who are just as good, if not better, than the ordained stars. With that in mind here are 24 players that may make bigger impacts at the next level than their “better” counterparts.

Ten things to watch at Patriots training camp. (ESPN Boston)

There was a point during this offseason when it seemed likely Brian Waters would return to the Patriots in 2012 after contemplating retirement shortly after Super Bowl XLVI. But he wasn’t spotted during OTAs and was excused from the Patriots’ mandatory minicamp. Definitive word on Waters’ plans has not been announced, and his status will make for a lead storyline upon the commencement of camp.

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