With New England Patriots training camp just 24 hours away, we’re going to break down the 10 most intriguing positional battles.
We start with the lonely No. 3 tight end role behind Rob Gronkowski and Martellus Bennett.
10. Clay Harbor vs. A.J. Derby
This battle is probably going to come down to who is the best blocker. With Gronk and Bennett manning the top of the tight end depth chart, it’s more likely than not that the Patriots will want to take on more of a blocking specialist at this spot. Michael Williams would have been the easy choice here, but he tore his ACL during offseason workouts and has since been released.
Harbor is the proven veteran out of this pair; Derby is a sophomore pro who didn’t touch the field once as a rookie. It also appears that Harbor is a better blocker, but that will be determined over the dog days of summer and the preseason games. The Patriots may go with the younger option in Derby, or they might prefer the wiser, more experienced Harbor. It’s a coin flip.
One thing is for sure: both of these guys should beat out undrafted rookies Steven Scheu and Bryce Williams with ease.
Next: 9. Kline vs. Cooper vs. Thuney