Going into Thursday’s first preseason game against the New York Giants, there are many questions the Patriots need to answer. There are questions on the offense as to who will call the plays and, on the defense, who will step up at cornerback with the departure of JC Jackson.
Who will step up and shine on special teams? Did they finally draft a wide receiver who will step up and have success and thrive with this team? So many questions hopefully will start to be answered in the first preseason game against the Giants this week.
Which Rookie Will Show He Belongs On The Patriots’ Offense?
With Mac Jones entering his second season as the starter of the Patriots, who will step up to the challenge to help him? They need help on the offensive line and depth at running back. How will their first-round draft pick offensive lineman Cole Strange to perform against the Giant’s defensive line? Did they finally hit wide receiver by drafting wide receiver Tyquan Thornton, and will he show his explosiveness and production against the Giants secondary?
After trading Jarred Stidham to the Raiders, could draft Quarterback Bailey Zappe to prove he belongs in this league? Finally, who will step up and help fill the void left by running back James White as he rehabs from his hip injury last year? They drafted two running backs, Pierre Strong and Kevin Harris, but who will show he can be a difference maker on the team?
2022 Patriots Defensive Rookies Who Could Surprise?
The Patriots had to get faster on defense after their playoff loss to the Bills last year. They lost star cornerback JC Jackson in FA to the Chargers and had to replace him. They added FA Terrence Mitchell to the team and drafted two defensive backs Marcus Jones out of Houston and Jack Jones out of Arizona State, to compete and fill the void left by JC Jackson. However, will Jack Jones and Marcus Jones match up and shut down the Giant’s speedy receivers on Thursday night?
Could they show they have the size and skills to compete in this league? Now a lot has been said about UDFA LaBryan Ray out of Alabama. Could he be a steal on the defensive line and keep the streak alive this year? Will he be disruptive against the Giants, get to the quarterback, and shut the run down?
Which Patriots Rookies Will Survive?
In the past, players playing multi positions on the team have shown they have a great chance of making the final roster. UDFA Brenden Schooler out of Texas could be a steal as he has played on both sides of the ball at wide receiver and defensive back. Which side of the ball will he line up against the Giants, or could he help on special teams as a punt returner?
Will he show he belongs on this team, and will he thrive as a special teams player? Other players to watch on Thursday night are rookie Defensive lineman DaMarcus Russell out of Purdue has shown positive play in training camp, but will it carry over into Preseason? Finally, another player who could make an impact on special teams is a newly signed defensive back out of Michigan. Brad Hawkins has shown he can stop the run and is versatile with a solid frame.
The Patriots have many questions entering the 2022 season, and after a long offseason, it all comes together Thursday, August 11th, against the New York Giants. The Rookies have battled in training camp now, and they will show they belong in the NFL starting this week by being productive at a high level. The question is, who will survive to help the 2022 team this upcoming season?
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