For the most part, newbies are over their heads at this point, and you might be expected to see any of them playing a major role in the junior camp. Last year, Mac Jones was a notable exception, but unless you’re a quarterback, there may not be many opportunities to shine. Crows will need to make the most of their opportunities.
Tyquan Thornton’s speed is something to watch, as is Marcus Jones’ electric potential return ability. Jack Jones made a lot of plays on the ball in college and had some chances in the OTAs. A small camp intercept or two would put Jack on the radar in the outer outer corner. Cole String should continue to pin the left guard post, while it would be nice to finally get a glimpse of Chasen Hines and Andrew Stueber, a junior offensive lineman who hasn’t been spotted in any of the OTA drills.
It would be hard to read for a beginner until the plates appear, but speed and speed are things that can still appear even without them. The team wanted to get faster this season, and we’ll have a metric from this year’s draft class this week.
2022 hasn’t seen the same huge free agent volume as 2021, but there are still some veteran free agent additions that could win important roles this summer, particularly in defense. Malcolm Butler and Terrance Mitchell are experienced corner players who should be in the starting mix, while Jabrill Peppers has the kind of variety that fits well in defense, even if it’s unclear how many different points he’ll be able to play. Veteran linebacker Mac Wilson should also be active in the minicamp as the linebacker group is undergoing some turnover and has some health questions.
Offensively, there are fewer locations where the new faces could have an effect, but that doesn’t mean a lack of excitement for DeVante Parker, who appeared during the OTAs, as well as Ty Montgomery, a hybrid offensive player who can contribute to both a running back and a receiver.
Unlike beginners, vets should be able to jump straight into the mix with a minicamp.
With the limited Free Agent category, it’ll also be focusing heavily on some of the last draft chapters as the team hopes to see some veterans finally appear in major roles.
This starts at full-back, where players like Josh O’Shea, Inverney Jennings and Ronnie Perkins should see opportunity knock. No other center group has seen this kind of spin other than Level 2 defense with veterans like Dont’a Hightower, Jamie Collins and Kyle Van Noy no longer on the list.
But the full-back isn’t alone, as the offensive line is another place some Patriots juniors have a golden opportunity. Michael Onwenu should finally be able to grab the starting point guard on the right side, which is his position in college, while Justin Herron and Yodny Cajuste appear to be playing big in the center of interference. In high school, Joejuan Williams, Shaun Wade and Joshuah Bledsoe are unknown amounts that can push veteran free agent additions.