5 Things We’ve Learned From New England Patriots’ Early OTAs

New England Patriots' OTAs: 5 Things We've Learned

New England Patriots OTAs
Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports

The 2014 NFL Draft is over and teams are now participating in their organized team activities (OTAs). Teams are using this time to help players develop more skills and get everyone (especially new additions) integrated into the offense, defense or special teams. What are five things we’ve learned from the New England Patriots’ OTAs?

5. WRs Danny Amendola/Julian Edelman Seem Ready To Go

New England Patriots OTAs
Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

5. WRs Danny Amendola/Julian Edelman Seem Ready To Go

New England Patriots OTAs
Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

The 2013 season was the first with the Patriots for the oft-injured Danny Amendola. He has been plagued by injuries throughout his career and a groin injury caused him to miss time last season. It is being reported that Amendola has shown no signs of being limited. Julian Edelman was the Patriots’ top pass catcher (105) in 2013. He has already made a number of nice catches, and it seems he is still Patriots QB Tom Brady’s favorite target.

4. Patriots Are Still Missing a Big-Time Receiver

New England Patriots OTAs
Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

4. Patriots Are Still Missing a Big-Time Receiver

New England Patriots OTAs
Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

During 7-on-7 and team action there were a lot of passes that were dropped, bobbled or double caught. This is somewhat to be expected this early, but it could highlight the fact the Patriots do not have a marquee receiver and may rely too much on Edelman producing what he did last season and on TE Rob Gronkowski getting and remaining healthy. Brady was very vocal when working with his receivers—hopefully that helps them improve.

3. RB Roy Finch (Oklahoma) May Be Someone to Keep an Eye On

New England Patriots OTAs
Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

3. RB Roy Finch (Oklahoma) May Be Someone to Keep an Eye On

New England Patriots OTAs
Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

Many young players took reps and tried their hand at returning punts—Ryan Mallet got off a lot of great punts— including second-year receiver Kenbrell Thompkins and undrafted rookie Finch. Jeremy Gallon also got some reps and may have the inside track because of his draft position and receiving skill set. Thompkins struggled a little, but Finch, although undersized, was impressive and may be someone to keep an eye on going forward.

2. Steve Beauharnais May Have a Bigger Workload in 2014

New England Patriots OTAs
Stew Milne-USA TODAY Sports

2. Steve Beauharnais May Have a Bigger Workload in 2014

New England Patriots OTAs
Stew Milne-USA TODAY Sports

Brandon Spikes and Dane Fletcher are gone, and Steve Beauharnais may take over Fletcher’s role. Mike Reiss from ESPN.com has already highlighted that he has seen Beauharnais lead the defensive huddles and show a take-charge attitude. Beauharnais played one defensive snap in 2013 after the Patriots drafted him in the seventh-round of the 2013 draft. If he continues to impress he may see the field for far more than one snap in 2014.

1. Josh Kline May Be the Future at Left Guard

New England Patriots OTAs
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

1. Josh Kline May Be the Future at Left Guard

New England Patriots OTAs
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

The second-year offensive lineman lined up at left guard (with the first team) just as he did in the AFC East-clinching victory against the Ravens in Baltimore in December. If Logan Mankins is healthy, he will probably start at left guard, but given Mankins’ contract (due $ 11 million in 2015), Josh Kline may be the left guard of the future as soon as 2015.


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