FOXBORO – Just like Billy Madison, it is “back to school” for the New England Patriots, as they attempt to assemble the 2022 team. The roster will be full of fan-favorites, including Mac Jones, Matt Judon and Damien Harris, among others.
But during training camp, there have been a few newcomers that have shined equally as bright.
Patriots.com recently reviewed the camps of five players who are gunning for a spot on the roster come September.
Looking on the offensive side of the ball, the Patriots added some depth to replace some lost players. Ty Montgomery, working as the James White-like role in this offense and Arlington Hambright, a depth guard, have both exploded onto the scene during the first two weeks of camp.
Montgomery has consistently rotated in and out of the first team offense, being used as a receiver, running back and as a kick returner. His connection with Mac Jones has been evident and provides the Patriots with a nice safety valve if James White is not healthy to begin the year.
Hambright, who signed a futures contract in the winter, has quickly become one of the fastest risers on the team. He began the summer as a bubble player, competing with a large group for only a select few spots. Now? He is rotating in with the starters, getting work at the right guard spot.
Another player who has found himself working in with the top unit has been third-year linebacker Anfernee Jennings. The former Alabama prospect struggled to see the field during his first two seasons, but has now been able to compete at a high level during the summer sessions. With Dont’a Hightower, Jamie Collins and Chase Winovich all leaving the linebacker room, the chance given to Jennings to improve his game has been massive.
The last two are some of the undrafted prospects that has the fanbase excited for what’s to come. Defensive lineman LaBryan Ray and safety Brenden Schooler have both proved why they deserve to be in the NFL and have carved out a role during practices.
Patriots.com writes the following on Schooler:
“Despite a stacked safety group, Schooler's special teams prowess cannot be ignored as the Patriots have some significant roles to fill. Schooler might just be the latest special teams stud to make a career out of it with the Patriots.”
That’s how every team in the NFL is. Each team has its strong positions, but how well can the depth play come Week 1? In the case of New England, the opportunities given to the role players have come with immense benefits.