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Patriots Talk: Which Undrafted Rookie Will Make The 53-Man Roster?

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Patriots Talk: Which Undrafted Rookie Will Make The 53-Man Roster?

Many players will wonder what they should expect come to the pre-season as that will be the ultimate test to prove their worth to their coaches. However, expectations are hard to meet come game-time when the pressure is on. Many players that are drafted are considered more than likely to stay on the roster but undrafted players are lucky if they make the practice squad.

The New England Patriots are a team that this off-season has signed well over 19 undrafted free agents. Now there quite a long list but to fill out the 90 man roster, there are quite a few names that will likely not make the mentions. The total rookies that have been signed currently to the Patriots are:

 

The Patriots drafted Derek Rivers, Antonio Garcia, Detrich Wise, and Conner McDermont in the 2017 NFL Draft. They will likely at least make the practice squad with Rivers and Garcia likely to be backups at their retrospective positions. For the rest, they will be fortunate to make it until August especially rookie [defensive lineman] Vereen Corey out of Tennessee is has been on injured reserve this off-season. The main names that have stood out are:

 

These six have been given the most attention so far out of all the Patriots Undrafted Free agent class and one who stands out the most is rookie Linebacker Harvey Langi. He was signed to over $115,000 contract deal with the team which was more than any other free agent this year. Langi appeared in 36 games over three seasons at Brigham Young University (21) and registered 139 tackles, 6.5 sacks, two interceptions, one forced fumble and three passes defended at the Linebacker position.

 

Jacob Hollister (left side) is a very interesting case, he was brought in along with his twin brother Cody Hollister during the same week after the draft ended. According to some sources, the Patriot wanted Jacob badly and he would only agree to sign if they took his brother, who played Wide Receiver at the University of Arkansas (right side).

It’s unknown how valid that is but the Hollister twins will be seen often on the offense together during reps and Jacob will be trying to compete against veteran Matt Lengal for the third Tight End spot. Jacob played in 30 games at Wyoming and caught 75 passes for 1,114 yards and 12 touchdowns. Also rushed twice for 48 yards and one touchdown. Most productive season came as a senior in 2016 when he racked up 32 receptions for 515 yards and seven touchdowns.

David Jones is the darkhorse among these 6 players. His ability to play as a defensive back is very much something to watch out for. He has best been described as a intelligent player and a late-bloomer, who only during his senior season, added relatively sudden mass to his frame and might be able to carry more moving forward.

(Weighed less than 180 pounds to weighing in at 210 when coming to the Patriots) It’s unknown by how much he can stand out as he will be competing against Jordan Richards and fellow rookie Jason Thompson for a spot at the strong safety position. He comes the University of Richmond (13) and played in 41 games and registered 195 tackles, 14 interceptions, six passes defended, two fumble recoveries and two forced fumbles.

He led the FCS with nine interceptions as a junior in 2015 and his four interceptions against Albany tied the single-game NCAA record. He missed the last half of his 2016 season due to a fractured elbow, so there will be durability concerns going into training camp.

Then of course, there is D.J. Killings. The defensive back prospect came out of UCF (24), he played in 34 games and registered over 99 tackles, one sack, five interceptions (one pick-six), 17 passes defended and one forced fumble. He was also a member of the 2013 American Athletic Conference All-Academic Team.In terms of value and money, Killings received $31,000 guaranteed upon signing with the Patriots, which is just behind Langi and Hollister for the most by an undrafted free agent in this year’s class.

In terms of ability, when watching Killings on the field, he shows flashes of competitive fire and moments of versatility that the Patriots are very well-known to take highly. A prime example was in one game against South Florida, Killings lined up on the sideline, in the slot, at free safety, and then converted in the box in coverage with the tight end. He will likely compete at the Free-Safety position with rookie Damarius Travis for the final spot as both Nate Ebner and Brandon King are vital to Special Teams and it is unlikely he will take on veteran Devin McCourty.

Speaking of likely, there is also the shortest player among the undrafted class; William ‘Will’ Likely III. (That is seriously his full name) The young undrafted free agent was  quite a shock as a defensive back measuring in at only 5’7 and only 175 pounds, isn’t alot to impress most GMs and coaches but like Elanden Roberts was in last year’s draft, height doesn’t measure everything (including one’s drive).

Coming out of the University of Maryland (4), he played in 43 games during his college career and finished with 229 total tackles and seven interceptions.

As a Kick/Punt Returner, he returned 87 kicks for 2,233 yards with two touchdowns and returned 67 punts for 875 yards with four touchdowns. As a junior in 2015, he started one game as both a defensive back on defense and as a wide receiver on offense but his value dropped sadly during his senior in 2016, as he was limited to only six games due to injury. Will is a player that is likely going to have the most to prove out of everyone in this free agent class if he hopes to make the team.

And we will end this list with the most intriguing prospect out of all of them. Austin Carr is  a player that will be playing Wide Receiver and coming out of the Northwestern (80), the young man has already put together quite the resume.

He played in 36 career games and totaled 113 receptions for 1,649 yards and 14 touchdowns and set the single-season school record as a senior with 1,247 receiving yards and tied for second with 90 receptions. He also tied the school record with 12 touchdown receptions. His senior season was good enough to give him the Named Richter-Howard Big Ten Receiver of the Year and was a consensus First-Team All-Big Ten.

Carr has been primarily a player that has been effective in the slot and thrives at catching passes in traffic while running in and out of his routes and despite all his production in college, he was not seen to be worth a pick in this year’s draft despite being PFF’s top college receiver last year.

Carr will be competing with a very strong receiving core that helped in winning Super Bowl LI, and he will be a very thin cut to make come August.

New England Patriots

Patriots Talk: Patriots Shut Out Raiders In Mexico City

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What a day for the Patriots to secure a win in the most Patriot way possible. The game was effectively over before the 2nd quarter ended. The team was dominant throughout the entire duration of the game and it showed. In many ways, there were a number of factors within this game that caused the Raiders to ultimately fold early on in the game

The Altitude Difference

The Patriots had the smart idea to stay in Denver and travel to Colorado Springs to adjust their bodies to the pressures of high altitude. The Raiders took the same approach when they traveled to Mexico City to play against the Houston Texans in Week 11 of the 2016 season. Although, the method worked last year, you can’t deny that there was a lot of outside interference in that game.

This time around, it was very clearly from just the fact that CB Stephon Gilmore and WR Danny Amendola leaving the game due to dehydration showed how taxing the high altitude was on them. The Raiders were arguably worse with their team as they allowed 4 turnovers on the offense yesterdays. The sheer pressure the game put on most of the players was quite significant in this game for both team. But the Patriots ultimately minimzed the effect that it had on them.

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Patriots Football Talk: Patriots Dominance Continues In Mexico

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Patriots

It was a sunny Sunday at the Estadio Azteca, Mexico’s Premier Stadium, in Mexico City.  The New England Patriots were facing off against the Oakland Raiders in what was called a Road Game.  It was a made for TV experience to draw in a more viewers and fans.  It was the NFL’s way to reach a larger market, that being fans in Mexico City.

The Game showed off the best in the NFL.  And you know what?  The best Team in the NFL showed what it means to be the best.  Of course I’m talking about the Patriots dominating yet another Team.  They continue to out preform their opponents on the field.  It’s something that this year’s Team has grown in to.  From being just a contender to being an all-out reigning champ; this Team has figured out how to be great.  Today’s game was proof of that!  I’d say they played perfect, but they didn’t get the shut out.  Hey you can’t have everything!

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NFL Talk: Week 11 Picks

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Patriots

We are finally getting down to the last stretch of the season where teams will finally start to line up where they will make the playoffs and those who will simply tank for the higher pick in the 2018 NFL draft. At this point, most people have teams figured out and know how games should go from here on out. As of now, I got 11-3 correct last week, which puts me at 95-51 for the season.

Tennessee Titans @ Pittsburgh Steelers: Winner – Steelers

At this point in the season, I think the Titans will likely make the wildcard as Jacksonville will run away with the division. The Steelers are pretty much a lock for the playoffs. Their division has the Browns with the worst record in the NFL, and the Bengals and Ravens have fallen off. Even though the game was already played yesterday here was my thoughts before the game:

They are playing the Titans at home and the Steelers defense has been a hack of a surprise for this season. It’s mainly because of how much money was invested into their offense yet their defense has improved substantially from last year. The 2nd best passing defense in the NFL (allowing only 181.8 passing yards per game) and 11th against the run (allowing 102.7 rushing yards per game).

The Titans will have some serious difficulties holding the Steelers down while they are playing at home. Despite the Titans not having a bad team by any stretch (they have the 6th best rushing defense in the NFL), this is the Steelers game to lose and thankfully after what we have seen, that isn’t alot. Steelers won by 40-17 and my prediction was they would score 27-20. (Titans couldn’t even get me that)

Jacksonville Jaguars @ Cleveland Browns: Winner – Jaguars

If the Jags somehow throw this game away I will be so done with predicting their games this season. The Browns are a team that needs a massive overhaul and I don’t see it being enough for them to win this game. The Jaguars will win this game 24-21 with Blake Bortles somehow almost throwing the game away. Almost.

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