Stock Watch: First Days of Training Camp
Photo Credit: Pats Pulpit
Training Camp is now in full swing as the New England Patriots get ready for their first padded practice coming up this week. Players are impressing and some are indeed disappointing. Let’s take a look at who has been a stud and who has been a dud so far in Training Camp.
Stock up: Rob Gronkowski
The one who has dominated the most on the field so far this Training Camp is tight end Rob Gronkowski. Catching everything thrown his way and showing his passion for the game as he took the field for the first time in more than half a year.
One play in particular took place during 4-on-4 scrimmages when quarterback Tom Brady found Gronkowski in the endzone which was followed by his trademark spike. The crowd and the receiving corp drew off the charismatic behavior of the tight end and is setting the tone for what could be a career season for Gronkowski.
Stock up: The Patriots secondary (except for Cyrus Jones)
A lot of expectations have been put on this secondary to be the best in the NFL and so far so good.
Malcolm Butler is proving once again that he is worth that big pay day after a spectacular first day of practice blanketing the team’s three best receivers Brandin Cooks, Julian Edelman, and Chris Hogan. In total, he only allowed one catch and even play slot with a seamless transition in doing so.
Stephon Gilmore was also white on rice against Cooks and Hogan showing why the Patriots paid him an obscene amount of money to come here.
Eric Rowe has been up to the challenge in transitioning into the slot and has also been most impressive in his sophomore season with the club.
But the biggest surprise of the first two days of Camp is the undrafted Valdosta State alum Kenny Moore.
No. 42 is making the case for the slot corner position recording four pass breakups and an interception grabbing the attention of Patriots media.
Stock down: Cyrus Jones
The second year cornerback who was known for being the best return man in the country during his time at Alabama, is still having difficulties fielding punts and kickoffs.
To make matters worse he was involved in a dust up with Hogan during Thursday’s practice which in turn sent the whole team to the hills to do wind sprints for a 15 minute eternity.
The entire secondary is exceeding expectations and Jones is already falling behind. I will not be surprised if his name is not on the final roster.
Stock up: Brandin Cooks
Arguably the biggest trade or signing this past NFL offseason, Brandin Cooks is picking up right where he left off during the OTA and Mandatory Mini Camp periods as one of Brady’s most trusted targets.
During the first practice during the final period of 11-on-11 scrimmages, Cooks caught three straight passes from his quarterback and dominated up and down the field. Things are looking great for the Brady/Cooks duo thus far and fans should be excited for when these two take the field for real for the first time together.