Patriots have a few players who can be considered extension of 2019 rookie class

Ryan Hannable
February 25, 2019 - 1:25 pm

One of the things that stands out most with the Patriots' 2018 rookie class is how injuries prevented them from contributing.

Of the nine players selected by the team last April, six landed on injured reserve and besides Ja'Whaun Bentley playing in three games, the other five did not appear in any. These players can almost be lumped into the 2019 rookie class come the spring and summer since they did not get much real experience last season.

Here's a look at these players and what they could potentially bring to the table.

OL Isaiah Wynn (Round 1) -- Wynn seems primed to play a major role with the team this coming season. It appears likely Trent Brown will not be retained and that likely will set the stage for the Georgia product to slide in at left tackle. It would make sense to keep a veteran swing tackle around (LaAdrian Waddle) as insurance, but if everything goes according to plan, Wynn seems like the player who will be protecting Tom Brady's blindside next season.

CB Duke Dawson (Round 2) -- The Patriots activated Dawson off injured reserve during their bye week, so he got to practice for the end of the season plus the playoffs, but he did not appear in any games. Rookies Keion Crossen and J.C. Jackson did appear in games, so it will be interesting to see where Dawson stands on the depth chart come OTAs and training camp. The Florida product was impressive last spring and summer before getting injured just before the start of the season.

LB Ja'Whaun Bentley (Round 5) -- Big things are expected from Bentley, who showed a ton of promise during the preseason and then first few weeks of the regular season before landing on IR with torn biceps. Bentley stayed involved as much as possible, including making a few road trips. Bentley wore the green dot when he was active, which is very impressive for a Patriots rookie. Bentley seems ready to take over for Dont'a Hightower as the leader of the linebackers group whenever he decides to call it a career. He may have the most potential out of this group of injured 2018 draftees.

LB Christian Sam (Round 6) -- Sam is another linebacker who likely will factor into future plans. He wasn't as impressive as Bentley, but could certainly play a role down the line. He seems like a candidate to challenge Elandon Roberts for a roster spot during the spring and summer.

WR Braxton Berrios (Round 6) -- The Miami product comes with a lot of hype, as he's a slot receiver who some feel could one day be the next Julian Edelman. Berrios wasn't all that impressive last summer compared to the other receivers the Patriots had, but we'll see what happens following a whole year studying the playbook and being in meetings. He certainly will have an edge over whatever receivers the team brings in via the draft.

TE Ryan Izzo (Round 7) -- Izzo had a great summer before landing on IR right when the 53-man roster was announced, which meant he could not play at all. Some believe this was a paperwork mistake and the Patriots actually wanted him to be able to return during the year. He's more of a blocking tight end, and seems like a player who could see a role with the team, especially if Dwayne Allen is released.

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