It’s clear that the New England Patriots are in a bit of a youth movement over the last few years and are looking for that youth to make a serious impact whether it be in 2023 or beyond. With training camp getting started in Foxborough this week, you can be sure that certain young players should get ample opportunity to show what they can do and what they can bring to a team that is embracing the youth. To further drive this point home, seven of the Patriots ten draft picks last season had some sort of impact when historically the team has brought rookies along slower. So here are three young players worth paying attention to at training camp.
Despite the Patriots losing out on DeAndre Hopkins, it’ll be worth watching the wide receiver group especially the young players as one of them could grab a surprise roster spot. Boutte, one of the team’s sixth rounders in April could potentially be one of those surprises. Boutte put together a few solid seasons at LSU before falling in the draft in the spring but he appears to have some explosive ability that could be useful for an offense trying to rediscover its identity.
With a number of proven receivers ahead of him on the depth chart there is a decent chance that he is unable to make the roster but he certainly is worth watching in training camp if he can show that explosive ability.
Pierre Strong Jr.
Since the departure of James White, the Patriots have been in search of a pass-catching running back and there's a chance they may have found one in Strong, entering his second season out of South Dakota State. In a limited role late in the season, Strong showed flashes of being an effective part of the offense so it'll be interesting to see if he can build off that momentum in training camp. The team is in need of running backs that can spell Rhamondre Stevenson from time to time, so it'll be worth watching how Strong gets used in camp.
Another player that could benefit from the departure of a team legend is third-year safety Josh Bledsoe. With Devin McCourty's retirement, there is a void at the free safety position that Bledsoe could help fill along with the likes of Jalen Mills and Jabrill Peppers. Bledsoe's progress will be interesting to watch in camp as players often will make a jump in their third season. Although the team appears to be incredibly solid at the safety spot, it is always good to have depth as injuries can sometimes pile up quickly.