4. Brandon King
What makes him promising: This writer noted last season that King is well on his way toward becoming the next Matthew Slater, as the Auburn product was a staple of the Patriots’ punt coverage unit last year. He also holds promise as a hybrid linebacker-safety type; King played both positions in college, and he even had some snaps as a defensive end if you can believe it.
Training camp competition: King will look to crack into a depth role at safety, so he will contend with Brock Vereen, Cedric Thompson and Jordan Richards. It’s pretty likely that no one will push him all that much on the punt coverage unit.
2016 expectations: More excellent special teams play and growth into a depth role at safety as the season progresses and injuries mount up in the secondary.
Optimistic 2016 forecast: A strong candidacy to make the Pro Bowl in the event that Slater gets hurt and King realizes a larger role on special teams.
Next: 3. David Andrews