Patriots Mailbag: Chris Hogan Could Have Biggest Impact Among Free Agents

Wondering why you’re not seeing media reports from New England Patriots organized team activities this week?

NFL teams are only required to give media access to OTAs every three sessions. The Patriots are only having two sessions this week, which is why there’s no media availability. The Patriots’ three minicamp sessions next week are all open to the media, and reporters also have access to the team’s June 13 OTA session. The Patriots will hold closed OTA sessions June 14 and 16, and then they’ll break for the summer until training camp begins in late July.

Let’s get into the mailbag after a slow week at Gillette.

@DougKyed Way too early prediction on what RB’s make the team?
— @Mahondawg34
I’ll go chalk with Dion Lewis, LeGarrette Blount and Brandon Bolden and throw in a long shot with undrafted rookie D.J. Foster. Foster has versatility, and he is considerably more explosive than James White and Donald Brown.

@DougKyed Your prediction of WR’S that make the 53?
— @TherealFTown
I’ll go 100 percent chalk with this one: Julian Edelman, Danny Amendola, Chris Hogan, Keshawn Martin, Malcolm Mitchell and Matthew Slater. I think Martin’s guaranteed money precludes Nate Washington, Aaron Dobson or Devin Lucien from making the initial 53-man roster.

@DougKyed What new free agent acquired this off season is mostly likely gonna have the biggest impact on the field for us.
— @MKhan3000
I think Martellus Bennett will have the biggest impact of all the veteran acquisitions, but the Patriots traded for him. I think Hogan, Terrance Knighton and Chris Long all will make an impact this season, but I’ll go with Hogan. I believe he’ll be the No. 2 wideout behind Edelman. I think he’ll have a bigger role than Knighton or Long.

@DougKyed why should I believe the Martellus Bennett acquisition will work out any better than Scott Chandler last year
— @T_Byrd57
He’s just a better, more athletically gifted player. Bennett was one of the best tight ends in the NFL in 2014, and Chandler never came close to being held in that regard (other than when facing the Patriots).

Bennett is a better receiver and blocker than Chandler. His success ultimately will depend on whether he can stay healthy. Chandler couldn’t, and he really struggled to find the field late in the season.

@DougKyed Do the patriots have to carry 3 qbs on the roster (even if Brady does got reinstated)
— @avery_patsfan
They don’t have to, but the only way Jacoby Brissett isn’t on the 53-man roster is if he hits injured reserve. The Patriots aren’t going to cut a third-round pick as a rookie.

@DougKyed why is David Ortiz retiring???
— @NickDygs9
Tremendous question. He currently has the highest OPS and OPS+ of his career, and he’s on pace for an absolutely bonkers 69 doubles, which would be a major league record. I hope he changes his mind. It’s fun to watch him mash right now.

@DougKyed @NESN are the pats thinking of going back to the 3-4?
— @yaunti
I doubt it. Their defense is much better constructed for a 4-3 right now. They lack a pass-rushing five-technique defensive end, and switching to a three-man front would force either Rob Ninkovich, Jabaal Sheard or Chris Long into more of a pass-coverage role.

@DougKyed True/False your favorite food is pizza
— @PatsFansBTC
True. They don’t call me Pizza Doug for nothing. (No one calls me Pizza Doug.)

@DougKyed I asked my coworker this on Wednesday, so I’ll ask you: did you watch Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles? If so, which Turtle’s the fave
— @bruinsgirl33
I did, and Leonardo was my favorite, though Michaelangelo was always a close second. Loved the Turtles. Live action, cartoon, Turtles In Time for Super Nintendo, the action figures. All of it.

@DougKyed If you had to pick a surprise guy to make the 53 man roster, who would you pick?
— @Cjudson11
I picked Brandon King last year. (Pats myself on the back.)

Let’s go with Cre’von LeBlanc. I wouldn’t be surprised if the Patriots tried to convert one of the cornerbacks on their 90-man roster to safety. LeBlanc seems like a natural fit because of his lack of top-end speed.

@DougKyed Warriors or Cavs? How many games?
— @David_J_Beckett
Warriors. Six.

@DougKyed Is Durant coming to Boston?
— @jpac_96
It would be a lot of fun, but I’m going to say no.

@DougKyed if garopollo does start and plays good and gets traded. Do you see him becoming a star with another team or turn into Cassel 2.0?
— @avery_patsfan
I think he’ll be a very good starting quarterback. He was fantastic in organized team activities last week, and he’s shown consistent improvement in his first three offseasons.

If Garoppolo does look like he’s taken the next step, and if he not only plays the first four games but also really impresses, I’m not sure what the Patriots will or should do. If he has the potential to be a Top 10 starting quarterback, then why should the Patriots trade him? The Patriots know the value of a tremendous starting quarterback, and it’s probably worth more than a first-round pick. Brady is still fantastic, but he’s also going to be 39 years old this year. He’s going to eventually take a step back.

Every snap Garoppolo takes this summer and potentially into the fall will be must-watch.

@DougKyed Do you think Danny Amendola will have a disappointing season like Lafell did coming off injury and missing training camp?
— @Kwadare
I think they’re much different circumstances. LaFell began the season on the PUP list and only had one season with the Patriots under his belt. Amendola’s injury isn’t expected to delay the start of his season, and he’s already built a solid rapport with Brady.

@DougKyed How much (and in what way) do you think the brand split is going to affect NXT?
— @AirLarsen
I think it could dilute the NXT roster a little bit, because I could see guys like Finn Balor, Samoa Joe, Shinsuke Nakamura, Jordan and Gable and possibly Austin Aries called up sooner rather than later, but that should force WWE to keep signing more and more talent. Guys like Adam Cole, The Young Bucks, Moose, Okada, Ricochet, Will Ospreay, Zack Sabre Jr., Michael Bennett, ACH, Jay Lethal and Kenny Omega are out there, and their contracts with other federations eventually will expire.

Thumbnail photo via Timothy T. Ludwig/USA TODAY Sports Images

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