After watching the first couple preseason practices, there is one thing that is for certain: the Patriots are relying heavily on their rookies.
But will it pan out? Could the big stage and prospect of playing for the defending world champions be too much for a bunch of kids?
There is a ton of risk when playing rookies. Sometimes they don't realize the huge stage they are on and play out of their minds. On the other end of the spectrum, sometimes they look like 22-year-old kids instead of polished veterans. Lets take a look at 3 of the Patriots 2015 draft picks that could be starting or playing a big impact on Week 1.
My man! I am so excited about this player. First and foremost, he's a Longhorn. And THE University of Texas is my team. Sure, they haven't had the best success in the past couple of seasons, but they continuously pump out All-Pro-type of players. Brown will join Sealver Siliga and Alan Branch on an already huge defensive tackle depth chart. While the the team was significantly depleted after the loss of longtime Patriots captain Vince Wilfork, who departed for Houston, they addressed their need through the draft in a huge way. Siliga had offseason surgery and Branch has been wildly inconsistent, so it isn't out of the question to see Brown ready to go Week 1. He is a big man, but also has amazing speed for someone his size. While he has a thick build, unlike this Wilfork, it is a more trimmed athletic look.
From all accounts, Jackson has been the most impressive rookie in camp. Already with NFL size, Jackson appears to be slotted into the right guard position and is already taking most of his reps with the 1st team. Jackson also has already played with Patriots center Bryan Stork at Florida State, which could provide some much needed chemistry along the offensive line. No pressure, Tre', but if you let anyone hurt Tommy Terrific you will have to go through me.
Remember how poor the offensive linen was at the beginning of last season? Well the Patriots wanted to make sure that wasn't the case again. While Mason is behind Jackson on my depth chart, he provides much needed versatility, as he can play both guard and center. He may not be a starter right away like Brown or Jackson, but he will be a serious impact player at some point this season.
By Pete Packowski @Pete_BBS