Every year, at least one hard-working player makes his way onto the Patriots roster. He could be a late-round draft choice, undrafted free agent, previous practice squad member, or just someone completely unexpected. Who will potentially be that dark horse player this year? BSE makes its picks.
Devansh Khanna (@devansh0429) – Keion Crossen
I have to go with Crossen here. The dude has a work ethic that Belichick loves. He’s ready to prove it to the NFL why he is a diamond in the rough after not even getting an invite to the combine. He ran a 4.32 at Wake Forest’s Pro Day, which would have tied for first at the combine. You will never see Crossen get beat downfield, and his hips and movement are very fluid. He’s stronger than his frame lets on, and his football IQ and character will put him over the top. Crossen will compete with Cyrus Jones, J.C Jackson, Jomal Wiltz, and Ryan Lewis for the sixth cornerback spot.
Matthew O’Halloran (@Prime_Kyrie2) – Cody Hollister
My dark horse pick to make the roster is Cody Hollister. The Patriots are thin at the receiver position and Hollister is 6’4″. If Britt does not play well in training camp, look for him to be cut, allowing for Hollister to be the backup tall receiver.
Steve Atkinson (@stevea1127) – Danny Etling
Will the Patriots keep three quarterbacks? After selecting Danny Etling in the seventh round of the NFL draft, the Patriots now have three quarterbacks on their roster. Tom Brady isn’t going anywhere anytime soon and the Patriots still have backup Brian Hoyer. Danny Etling comes out of LSU and to everyone’s surprise, the Patriots have eyed him for a while. The Patriots don’t usually keep three quarterbacks. However, Tom Brady will be 41 in August and the Patriots need to start looking at options for his successor. Etling is already starting to work with Tom Brady’s throwing coaches in California. Expect to see Danny Etling on the team for the 2018 NFL season.
Michael Clement (@MikeClement_) – Frank Herron
Herron is a senior defensive tackle coming out of LSU who recently signed with New England after going undrafted. Officially listed as a strong-side defensive end in college, Herron possesses enough versatility to play both inside and outside on the defensive line. A versatile player hailing from the SEC is a match made in heaven for Bill Belichick. Though Trey Flowers and newly-acquired Adrian Clayborn will lock down the starting roles each end, Frank Herron can provide some depth on either side. He’ll most likely battle for a roster spot as a defensive tackle, a position that was plagued with injuries last year. Defensive tackles Malcolm Brown and Danny Shelton both had their fifth-year team options declined recently, so if they fail to give New England a reason to re-sign them Herron could make his way up the depth chart this season.
Herron logged 67 tackles, two sacks, and three forced fumbles in his four years at LSU. Though those aren’t the prettiest numbers, the film reel tells all. Frank Herron is the supporting role on the defensive line that the Patriots cannot let go this summer.