The Patriots wrapped up mini-camp yesterday for a little summer break, but first I’ll give you the winners and losers of the 2014 mini-camp.
Tom Brady: Yep, the old guy still has it. Brady has been deadly accurate on short passes this off season and in the red zone. He has thrown some perfect lobs to receivers in the back of the end zone. He has spread the ball out more this mini-camp, but Edelman is clearly still his go-to guy.
WR Danny Amendola: Amendola has emerged big time this off season for Tom Brady. Amendola and Brady seem to be getting back in the ryhtm we saw during the Bills game before Amendola’s injury. Hopefully, it will translate to season success for Amendola.
WR Kenbrell Thompkins: He had the best camp of anyone. He looks to have made that leap, but this is said with caution considering he looked good last off season and the season didn’t go well for him. So, with caution, Thompkins looked amazing.
RB James White: White has looked explosive in the passing game for the Patriots. He reminds you a lot of Shane Vereen and could be his backup for that exact role. He might beat out Brandon Bolden. He has looked that good, of course, we still have a long way to go.
DT Vince Wilfork and Tommy Kelly: These two old guys coming off of serious injuries look good and well on their way to being 100%. They will be ready to go by the time training camp rolls along. It’s good to see them getting back to where they need to be after horrific injuries. Two great players.
QB Jimmy Garoppolo: I don’t want to be too harsh or tough on the rookie during his first mini-camp, so I won’t be. He was not great, but he wasn’t terrible either. He struggled to get rid of the ball quickly, and he had a hard time with sideline throws. He also went 3-15 passing in one practice and completed the majority of his throws to running backs and drop offs. He fumbled often too. He just needs time to settle in with the Patriots. I’m sure he will improve during training camp.
DT Dominique Easley: Nothing to do with his play, but we didn’t get to see him much, so I’ll put him here for now. Easley practiced a little on the last day after practicing none during the first 3. Easley looks well on his way to full recovery, so that is one good I take away from the little he practiced.
WR Aaron Dobson: Last season was no walk in the park for Dobson. He struggled to do much in New England’s offense, struggled with drops, and was injured often. Still, coming into this off season he was the favorite for the X-spot, but since Thompkins has emerged they will go into training camp tied for that spot. Dobson didn’t practice during mini-camp.
WR Josh Boyce: Kid has speed to burn and a lot of talent, but struggles to stay healthy. The Patriots have enough injury prone players and Boyce doesn’t need to keep adding to it. He was having a good camp until he was injured again. It didn’t seem like a serious injury, but he left Wednesday’s practice and missed Thursday.