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News Blitz 7/7: Patriots rookie Bryan Stork viewed as viable competitor for starting center job

Posted Jul 7, 2014

The Patriots.com News Blitz gets you up-to-date on the latest Patriots news from local and national media.

Mike Reiss of ESPN Boston considers Patriots rookie center Bryan Stork "a viable competitor for the starting center job in training camp."

"The Patriots are throwing a lot at Stork, who initially drew their interest because of his combination of smarts, toughness and size (6-foot-3, 315)," notes Reiss. "At one point in practice, Stork didn't snap the ball when quarterback Tom Brady called for it, which led him to take a penalty lap. That can be looked at in a few different ways -- no one wants to be sent on a lap, or he's in a good position because he's snapping to Brady. We lean toward the second option because no rookie comes in and plays mistake-free football." READ MORE>>

Paul Perillo of Patriots.com sees Patriots TE D.J. Williams as a long shot to make the 53-man roster.

"We haven’t seen much of Williams since he arrived late last season but he is mobile and could stick around for insurance," adds Perillo.

He also believes "all signs point toward" Rob Gronkowski being ready for Week 1.

"Can he withstand the rigors of an NFL season and put his injury problems behind him? If he can then the lack of depth at the position won’t be much of a concern," writes Perillo. "If he can’t, then Tom Brady will have to go without a reliable pass catching tight end for the second straight season." READ MORE>>

Chad Finn of Boston.com believes WR Aaron Dobson could emerge as a "downfield threat" this season.

"I recognize that Dobson's injury concerns are very real, but if he can stay on the field, the bet here is that emerges as a genuine and consistent downfield threat in his sophomore season," writes Finn.

Finn adds that he wouldn't bury Stevan Ridley just yet.

"Hard to believe considering he's played just three seasons and has found himself in the doghouse at least that number of times, but Stevan Ridley is on the verge of cracking the Patriots' top 10 all-time leading rushers," writes Finn. "With 2,477 yards, he's just 304 yards behind Antowain Smith in the No. 10 spot. More notably, Ridley has a higher per-carry rushing average (4.5) than anyone in the top 10, among them Sam Cunningham, Jim Nance,and Curtis Martin. READ MORE>>

Gregg Rosenthal of NFL.com thinks that Patriots second-year LB Jamie Collins could get Pro Bowl consideration this season ahead of Jerod Mayo.

"Collins is the player that Adalius Thomas was supposed to be," adds Rosenthal. "If he were a baseball player, we'd talk about his five tools: Speed, strength, pass coverage, pass rush and run stopping. Belichick's defenses have tended to be more vanilla in recent years because of personnel. Now Belichick has Darrelle Revis and a Swiss Army knife asset like Collins in his pocket; it's time to get more creative again." READ MORE>>

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