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The New England Patriots’ 5 Most Intriguing Players of 2014

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The New England Patriots’ 5 Most Intriguing Players of 2014

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The New England Patriots added some new faces during the offseason in an effort to improve on last season’s disappointing finish. They also have other key players looking to make the leap in their second year to either justify a big contract or their draft selection. They have baggage, injury histories and most of all, the talent to make a difference. Here are the New England Patriots’ 5 most intriguing players of 2014.

5. Darrelle Revis

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5. Darrelle Revis

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Revis can bark all day long about being the best CB in the game, but if that was the case, it’s hard to imagine Tampa Bay unceremoniously releasing him. Many fans think he is an upgrade over Aqib Talib, but I consider it an even swap, given Revis’ injury history and declining production. It will be interesting to see if Revis can live up to the hype and save the Patriots' defense or if the scheme will simply make him a shiny hood ornament.

4. Danny Amendola

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4. Danny Amendola

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Amendola was supposed to make getting rid of Wes Welker look like a good idea. Well Belichick failed again, because Amendola is earning a reputation as an IR squatter. He only played in 12 games in 2013, caught 54 passes for 633 yards and two touchdowns. Not exactly the numbers you want to see after spending $ 28 million. Can he stay healthy is the question? If not, fans will always rue the day they let Welker walk.

3. Dominique Easley

New England Patriots
Kim Klement – USA TODAY Sports

3. Dominique Easley

New England Patriots
Kim Klement – USA TODAY Sports

I wasn’t a fan of this draft selection, and the only thing that can change that is if Easley actually plays a full season in the NFL without his AARP insured knees blowing out. When you waste a first-round pick on damaged goods, he better make an immediate impact to justify the selection. Honestly, I’ll be impressed if he makes it out of training camp without needing crutches.

2. Brandon Browner

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2. Brandon Browner

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While he will miss the first four games, he is the key CB addition -- not Darrelle Revis -- who will make or break the secondary. The Patriots had a shutdown CB in 2013 and it didn’t help because they lacked a solid No. 2. If Brandon Browner can be the player he was in 2011 and avoid suspension, the Patriots might be able to stop opposing offenses and improve on their 18th ranked passing defense from 2013.

1. Jamie Collins

New England Patriots
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1. Jamie Collins

New England Patriots
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I consider the second-year LB Bill Belichick’s greatest defensive draft pick, and 2014 will either be a breakout year or he will become the next Brandon Spikes. He can blitz, cover tight ends, play man-to-man and stuff the run. Collins is the most versatile LB the Patriots have, with experience playing defensive end and safety in college. While Jerod Mayo gets all the attention, Collins is the player who matters most.

Willis Patenaude is a New England Patriots writer for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter@WillisPatenaude, “Like” him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google