5 Dark Horse Candidates to Make New England Patriots’ Roster

5 Dark Horse Candidates to Make New England Patriots' Roster

Roy Finch New England Patriots
Matthew Emmons-USA Today Sports

The New England Patriots will have an exciting mix of draft picks, undrafted rookie free agents and young veterans on the field when training camp opens. However, the harsh reality in the NFL is that many of these promising players will get the chop. That being said, some guys will squeak through on to the team. Here are five dark horse candidates to make the Patriots' roster.

5. Jemea Thomas

Jemea Thomas New England Patriots
Stew Milne-USA TODAY Sports

5. Jemea Thomas

Jemea Thomas New England Patriots
Stew Milne-USA TODAY Sports

The Georgia Tech product is undersized at 5-foot-9, 192 pounds, so making the team will be an uphill battle. However, Thomas is effective in run support, physical and has a high motor. He could push underachieving veterans Tavon Wilson and Patrick Chung for a depth spot at safety, and he is also valuable as a return man.

4. Kenbrell Thompkins

Kenbrell Thompkins New England Patriots
Mark L. Baer-USA TODAY Sports

4. Kenbrell Thompkins

Kenbrell Thompkins New England Patriots
Mark L. Baer-USA TODAY Sports

With the addition of Brandon LaFell, someone has to go in the Patriots wide receiver depth chart. The top six recievers right now are LaFell, Aaron Dobson, Julian Edelman, Danny Amendola, Josh Boyce and Thompkins. Thompkins has been impressive in offseason workouts, so don’t be surprised if it’s the underachieving, injury-prone Amendola who is left off the 53-man roster, not Thompkins.

3. Asa Watson

Asa Watson New England Patriots
Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports

3. Asa Watson

Asa Watson New England Patriots
Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports

The Pats were smart to pick up the NC State product as an undrafted free agent, who is the younger brother of former Patriots tight end Benjamin Watson. Benjamin was a favorite target of Tom Brady during his tenure in New England; look for his younger brother to follow suit. He has excellent field awareness and football IQ, traits that should help him survive cuts.

2. Daxton Swanson

Daxton Swanson New England Patriots
Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

2. Daxton Swanson

Daxton Swanson New England Patriots
Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

After outstanding showings in both OTA’s and minicamp, Swanson has the inside track on the fifth cornerback spot. It will be tough to unseat longtime Patriot Kyle Arrington, but if Swanson plays like he did during offseason workouts, Bill Belichick will have a hard time letting him go.

1. Roy Finch

Roy Finch New England Patriots
Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

1. Roy Finch

Roy Finch New England Patriots
Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

At 5-foot-7, 180 pounds, Finch is as quick and slippery as they come, but his diminutive stature is concerning. To make the team, Finch will either have to beat out Brandon Bolden for the fourth running back spot or he will have to carve out a role in the return game.


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