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Top 5 Positional Battles In New England Patriots’ Training Camp

Top 5 Positional Battles In New England Patriots' Training Camp

New England Patriots training camp
Stew Milne-USA TODAY Sports

The New England Patriots have been back at school for a few days now. The first-practice jitters should be out of the players’ systems, so excuses are out the window at this point. With that in mind, let’s take a look at the top five positional battles in the Patriots training camp.

5. Backup Quarterback

New England Patriots training camp
Stew Milne-USA TODAY Sports

5. Backup Quarterback

New England Patriots training camp quarterbacks
Stew Milne-USA TODAY Sports

Ryan Mallet has three years of NFL experience and is knowledgeable of Patriots’ offensive system. However, the Patriots used their second round pick on small-school product Jimmy Garoppolo. The two will be fighting tooth and nail for the backup spot behind Tom Brady, but Garoppolo faces an uphill battle after a rocky first few days of practice.

4. Starting Center

Ryan Wendell New England Patriots training camp
Stew Milne-USA TODAY Sports

4. Starting Center

Ryan Wendell New England Patriots training camp
Stew Milne-USA TODAY Sports

Veteran Ryan Wendell has a tough test ahead of him. After a rough 2013 in which he was one of the worst starting centers in the league, Wendell must hold off fourth round pick Bryan Stork, who is coming off of a championship-winning year at Florida State. Don’t be surprised if it’s the rookie who is hiking the ball to Tom Brady in Week 1.

3. Second Cornerback

Alfonzo Dennard New England Patriots training camp
Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

3. Second Cornerback

Alfonzo Dennard New England Patriots training camp
Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

With Brandon Browner out the first four games due to suspension, there is a hole at the second starting corner position. Alfonzo Dennard and Logan Ryan are both promising young players who are pretty even when compared together, although Ryan had a standout rookie season in 2013, intercepting five passes. Even when Browner returns, he might find himself playing behind one or both of these guys.

2. Fifth Wide Receiver

Danny Amendola New England Patriots training camp
Evan Habeeb-USA TODAY Sports

2. Fifth Wide Receiver

Danny Amendola New England Patriots training camp
Evan Habeeb-USA TODAY Sports

Julian Edelman, Aaron Dobson, Brandon LaFell and Kenbrell Thompkins look to be the locks to make the roster after the first few days of training camp. That leaves Danny Amendola, Josh Boyce and rookie Jeremy Gallon left fighting for the last roster spot, as it’s doubtful that the Patriots will take six receivers. Since Amendola can never stay healthy, it might be the slippery Boyce that makes the roster.

1. Fifth Cornerback

Kyle Arrington New England Patriots training camp
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

1. Fifth Cornerback

Kyle Arrington New England Patriots training camp
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Much like at wide receiver, five is the probable number of players the Patriots will keep at corner, with Darrelle Revis, Browner, Dennard and Ryan the sure bets to make the team. Proven veteran Kyle Arrington will have to hold off sophomore Dax Swanson, who has had an outstanding offseason and has shown well in the first few days of camp. Rookie Jemea Thomas will also be in the mix.