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5 biggest surprises at Patriots training camp

Ryan Hannable
August 06, 2018 - 8:04 am

The Patriots have been at work for well over a week with the first preseason game coming this Thursday against the Redskins.

It’s been a rather uneventful last 10 days or so with the practices being much more laid back than what we’re used to seeing. Nonetheless, there have been plenty of opportunities for players to standout.

Here are five players who have surprised us thus far.

Trent Brown

Brown has been by far the best linemen on the field so far. He’s dominated 1-on-1 linemen drills and even displaced his athleticism by getting out in front to block for a runner on a few plays. Standing 6-foot-8, 380 pounds, he’s one of the biggest linemen ever to come through Foxboro and while his stance may look awkward, he gets the job done. If he stays consistent, Brown has the potential to be one of the best left tackles in football.

Danny Shelton

After being traded to the Patriots from the Browns this offseason, Shelton has made a good first impression with his new team. He’s been one of the best defensive linemen in 1-on-1 drills, showing off his physicality. Through the first week-plus he’s appeared to jump Malcom Brown on the depth chart and it wouldn’t be a surprise to see him start Week 1. It will be worth watching to see if he plays all three downs or comes off the field in obvious passing situations, as he’s known for being a run stopper.

Cordarrelle Patterson

When Patterson was acquired this offseason it seemed he would strictly be used as a kick returner and also as a gadget player, but he’s shown he can make plays as a receiver as well. It seems every practice Patterson has made a spectacular catch or two. While he doesn’t have the best hands for a receiver (uses his body a lot), we see him playing more of a role as a receiver than first thought.

Kyle Van Noy

The linebacker has been impressive thus far, especially when it comes to defending passes. This was something he’s struggled with in his time with the Patriots, but he’s had several pass breakups in 11-on-11 work. It’s also noting Bill Belichick glowed about him, even going as far as saying he’s emerged as one of the leaders of the entire defense. Without adding any linebackers this offseason it’s important for Van Noy to be even better than he was a year ago.

Phillip Dorsett

A full offseason in the system has done the former Colts receiver a lot of good. After coming aboard just before the start of the regular season last year, Dorsett has a lot more on his plate this season. Last year he was used exclusively on the outside and basically just ran go routes, but we’ve seen him lining up a good amount out of the slot. When it comes to replacing Julian Edelman’s production the first four weeks, don’t sleep on Dorsett. 

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