Patriots Camp: Stock Up, Stock Down

Breaking down the top performers during the first practice of New England Patriots training camp

The New England Patriots hit the field for their first practice of the 2021 training camp Wednesday, with that session lasting close to two hours on the upper grass fields behind Gillette Stadium. There was a steady drizzle off and on with the temperatures in the mid-60s.

Here's whose stock was up and whose was down after that practice:


-- Adrian Phillips was one of the best defenders on the field. In fact, he locked down both Hunter Henry and Jonnu Smith. He forced one incompletion to Smith and two to Henry, including an interception in the end zone on a poor pass from Cam Newton that was behind Henry. Phillips found himself on the field alongside Jalen Mills and Kyle Dugger.

-- After requesting a trade earlier this month, N'Keal Harry showed up to camp and looked good on Day 1. As a matter of fact, he caught a couple of touchdowns in the red zone. One of his touchdown receptions came from Newton on a corner/fade connection. Harry's second touchdown grab was on a deep out to the pylon from Mac Jones. It remains to be seen if Harry is still on this team as we roll deeper in training camp, but today unquestionably was a solid start for the 2019 first-round draft pick.


-- Nelson Agholor looked impressive in his training camp debut. His speed and route running stood out.

-- Sony Michel looked quicker and healthier Wednesday. This is the first time in his four years in New England that he hasn’t started training camp on the PUP list.


-- It's only day one, but Hunter Henry struggled to get open. It is not entirely Henry's fault, though, because as discussed earlier, Phillips was excellent in coverage. The problem is Henry also struggled to get open against defensive back Jalen Mills. Make no mistake about it, Henry is in line to be one of the top options in the passing game, but he struggled in his debut.

-- Cam Newton had a decent practice. He was not god awful but he also did not outplay Mac Jones. He finished 8-of-15 with two interceptions. A better description for Newton's day one performance was "inconsistent." On one play Newton scrambled for a touchdown and then posed in front of the bleachers, igniting the fans. One another play, however, Newton threw a pass behind his target (Henry), which led to an interception. Overall, it wasn’t a strong day for any quarterback.

The Patriots hit the practice field again tomorrow at 9:45 a.m. The practice once again will be open to the public.