FOXBORO, Mass. — Jerod Mayo had to think for a minute when asked if there were any New England Patriots players who pleasantly surprised him during the first week of organized team activities.

Mayo ultimately landed on second-year defensive end Keion White.

“Keion is doing a good job for us, and I would say also Keion is taking that step forward as far as being a leader, not as much vocally, but you see him actually leading a group,” Mayo said before Patriots OTAs at Gillette Stadium on Wednesday.

The 6-foot-5, 285-pound White appeared in 16 games his rookie season, including four starts. He’s viewed as a potential starter on the edge entering his sophomore campaign.

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“His versatility,” Mayo said when asked what specifically caught his attention. “He’s always been a strong guy but I would say he’s even stronger now. He’s doing a good job each and every day, and in meeting rooms, he’s actually kind of talking and leading those conversations, which I think is important.”

White drew rave reviews from others including defensive coordinator DeMarcus Covington, defensive line coach Jerry Montgomery and fellow defensive lineman Deatrich Wise Jr.

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The Patriots hold OTAs each of the next two days with the media set to return to Gillette Stadium on Tuesday.

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