Patriots preseason: Thuney, Mitchell lead top five rookies so far

Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports
Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports /
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Joe Thuney Patriots
Feb 26, 2016; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Ole Miss Rebels offensive lineman Laremy Tunsil (48) squares off in drills against North Carolina State Wolfpack offensive lineman Joe Thuney (44) during the 2016 NFL Scouting Combine at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports /

1. Joe Thuney

Thuney tops this list because he is almost certainly going to be not just a Week 1 starter, but also an integral part of the Patriots’ success in 2016. We all know what happened last year when the interior offensive line slumped; Thuney was drafted with the intention of suring-up the left guard position, and he appears to be doing just that so far during Patriots preseason.

62 days until kickoff: Profiling No. 62 Joe Thuney

Thuney brings the trait that Bill Belichick desires in all of his players: versatility. Thuney played all five positions on the offensive line during his North Carolina State career, so in Thuney, the Patriots have a depth center and capable tackle as well as starting-caliber left guard. Thuney will really have to tank in remaining Patriots preseason practices and games to be bumped down this ranking of top-performing Patriots rookies.

Next: 10 Most Exciting Sophomore Pros on Pats Roster

Stay tuned here on Musket Fire for further analysis of the Patriots’ rookie class as we approach the regular season.