Patriots: 6 surprise players of 2015
Every year, the New England Patriots’ personnel development system produces a handful of surprise performers. Either through the draft or prudent free agent signings, the Patriots always experience an influx of new talent for fans to enjoy on Sundays. Here are the six best surprise performers of 2015; players who haven’t had significant roles for the Patriots in past years, but stepped up big-time this season.
6. Keshawn Martin
Acquired by the Patriots via a midseason trade, Martin immediately showed he could be a trusted target for Tom Brady against the Jacksonville Jaguars. Martin scored a touchdown by adjusting his route accordingly for a scrambling Brady, catching the crossing pattern and taking it in for a score.
On the season, Martin reeled in 24 receptions for 269 yards and two touchdowns. He also averaged a respectable 25.7 yards per kickoff return, as well as 11.5 yards per punt return. Unfortunately, Martin was one of the problem children during the Patriots’ punt return struggles when he muffed a return against the Houston Texans.
But for the most part, the introduction of Martin into the offense and special teams was a welcome sight for Patriots fans fed-up with the underachieving Aaron Dobson.
Next: 5. James White