4 under-the-radar players to keep an eye on during Patriots training camp

Other than the obvious players to watch this summer, there are a few not so talked about guys that should pique fans' interest.
Aug 11, 2022; Foxborough, Massachusetts, USA; New England Patriots running back Pierre Strong Jr.
Aug 11, 2022; Foxborough, Massachusetts, USA; New England Patriots running back Pierre Strong Jr. / Eric Canha-USA TODAY Sports
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Demario Douglas

With such a need at wide receiver, the fact that through training camp thus far, sixth-round draft pick Demario Douglas is consistently impressing is a very good sign.

Typically, there aren't many expectations placed on a late-round draft pick, but there was a lot of conversation surrounding the other sixth-round receiver the Patriots drafted earlier this year, Kayshon Boutte.

Because he was once considered a first-round prospect, New England snagging him so late was deemed one of the potential steals of the class. Unfortunately for Boutte, though, Douglas has dominated headlines through training camp so far and looks like a near roster lock come September.

Although it hasn't been a week of summer practices yet, Douglas has been a standout. His speed has been the most noticeable, which is one reason the Patriots drafted him, and he's been working with the first-team offense run by Mac Jones so far.

As the competitiveness of practices will be increasing shortly, it will better indicate where Douglas stands amongst his pass-catching teammates. It's clear from his work ethic and ability to catch on to how things are done in the NFL so quickly that he has all the tools to become a member of the final 53-man roster.

And he's made quite an impression on Bill Belichick as well, not just from his physical abilities, but his mentality is what has stood out most to the head coach.

"Demario’s working at returns and offensively inside and outside, so it’s a big jump for him from a competition level in college, but he seems to be transitioning pretty well. He’s a smart kid. He picks things up well, learns quickly, so all things that work in his favor, but we’ll see how it goes when things get more competitive next week."

With so many question marks regarding how Kendrick Bourne and Tyquan Thornton will look during the next few weeks, Douglas should be one to watch.

He likely won't leapfrog over any veteran receivers, but if he can continue to stand out for his performance on and off the field, there's no reason to believe he won't make the team in some capacity.