Demario Douglas arguably was the Patriots’ best player over the first two weeks of training camp. Why, then, did the rookie receiver play just three snaps in New England’s home preseason loss to the Houston Texans?

The answer is simple, according to a scout who recently spoke to Boston Sports Journal’s Mike Giardi.

“They know what they’ve got,” the scout told Giardi in a piece published Tuesday. “They don’t want to show the rest of the league.”

Douglas, who prefers to go by “Pop,” was a sixth-round pick in the 2023 NFL Draft. Despite showing plenty of promise at Liberty, Douglas’ diminutive size — he’s listed at 5-foot-8, 192 pounds — made it difficult to envision him carving out an immediate role in the pros. Nevertheless, he’s been the Patriots’ most productive receiver during summer practices.

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But the scout who spoke to Giardi still has some concerns.

“Of course,” they said. “It would be better for him if he could redshirt this year and get 10 more pounds on him. But they may not have that luxury.”

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Giardi also spoke to an assistant general manager who indicated Douglas has a chance to be New England’s next true slot receiver.

“He fits what they used to do, what they could still do. That profile,” the GM said.

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Douglas will look to continue his upward momentum this week when the Patriots visit the Green Bay Packers for a pair of joint practices and a preseason matchup. There might be no slowing down Douglas’ hype train if he also excels in that setting.

Featured image via Eric Canha/USA TODAY Sports Images