New England Patriots Digest: Things to watch in training camp

HOUSTON, TX - FEBRUARY 01: Head coach Bill Belichick of the New England Patriots looks on with Cyrus Jones
HOUSTON, TX - FEBRUARY 01: Head coach Bill Belichick of the New England Patriots looks on with Cyrus Jones /
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New England Patriots

RB D.J. Foster

Second-year running back D.J. Foster will need to stand out in training camp if he aims to return to the Patriots’ roster. He’s capable of turning heads, although, he’s one fish in a big pond of New England running backs. In June, Musket Fire named him a ‘riser‘ following his strong performance in OTAs and minicamp.

With so many backs already on the depth chart, Foster faces an uphill battle to make the 53-man roster. His best shot will be if he can beat out special-teamer Brandon Bolden for the fifth running back spot. Foster’s extremely versatile, having played wide receiver, running back, and kick returner at Arizona State. He was able to earn a roster spot last season and has the upside to be a quality insurance option for the oft-injured Dion Lewis if he can make the team in 2017.

More from Musket Fire

Player of the Day: TE Jacob Hollister & LB Harvey Langi #48

The Patriots kickoff against the Kansas City Chiefs in 48 days.

Undrafted free agents Jacob Hollister and Harvey Langi will enter their first NFL training camps next week. The two players are both contenders in Musket Fire’s aforementioned ‘position battles to watch in camp’ and will need to beat out proven veterans to earn roster spots.

Hollister joins the Patriots following three seasons at Wyoming. The tight end — and twin brother of Patriots wide receiver Cody Hollister — was a productive player in college. As a senior, he hauled in 32 grabs for 515 yards and seven touchdowns for the Cowboys. As a rookie, Hollister’s odds at making the team are slim, although, he’ll be an entertaining player to watch in the preseason.

Langi played three seasons at Brigham-Young University before joining New England following the 2017 draft. As a junior, in 2015, he collected 4.5 sacks, 6.5 tackles for loss, and two interceptions for the Cougars. Langi was an uber-versatile collegiate player, returning kicks and playing running back in addition to linebacker. He finished his college career with 25 carries for 104 yards and two rushing touchdowns, plus four kick returns for 73 yards.

Both players have the athletic ability to make strong cases for a spot on the team. If they can impress coaches in training camp and the preseason, either player should make the practice squad if not the 53-man roster.

Return next week for another installment of Patriots Digest.