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News Blitz 7/9: Is Jamie Collins set for a Pro-Bowl season?

Posted Jul 9, 2014

This edition of the Patriots.com News Blitz takes a look at an article that says Jamie Collins is ready for a break out year. We also discuss the possibility of the Patriots trading for Jimmy Graham.

Yesterday it was reported that WR Aaron Dobson will be ready to practice for the start of training camp, but according to Shalise Manza Young of the Boston Globe, it's still up in the air. In fact, she says that Dobson himself is unsure of his status at this point.

"I don't know, it's hard to say," said Dobson according to Young. "I'm taking it one day at a time, rehabbing hard, just to get back out there as quick as I can."

Down in New Orleans, Jimmy Graham and the Saints are still arguing over the star tight end's contract. Some believe that New Orleans may be forced to trade Graham and Richard Hill of SB Nation discusses whether the Patriots should attempt to acquire him. Ultimately, Hill thinks the team would be wise to say no because according to him, a trade for Graham would make no sense for New England.

One reason why it wouldn't make sense for the Patriots to acquire Jimmy Graham is because of the money factor. When it's all said and done, Graham will likely become the richest tight end in NFL history and breaking the bank for one player is just not something Bill Belichick is willing to do. USA Today's Glenn Davis says the Patriots are the NFL's smartest spenders. Davis breaks down the NFL salary cap and explains how the Patriots' smart spending has lead to their success on the field.

Another big factor in the Patriots success over the years has been their ability to develop draft picks. Jamie Collins is the latest example of a player who appears to be on the track to greatness. NFL Around the League writer, Gregg Rosenthal listed Collins as the No. 5 player on his 'Making the Leap' list. Rosenthal says that Collins possesses rare versatility and he expects him to tally 8 sacks along with a lot of "Wow!" plays in pass coverage.

"Collins' ceiling would be to emerge as the AFC's answer to Lavonte David and Thomas Davis. In an era of multiple defenses and pass-catching tight ends, every team is looking for hybrids at linebacker," writes Rosenthal. "The Patriots found a good one."

Mass Live's Nick Underhill is making a list of his own as we await the start of training camp -- he's ranking the top 10 Patriots players heading into training. Today, Devin McCourty came in at the No. 4 slot.

"Regardless of the lack of praise given to him by outside sources, there's no question that McCourty is one of the most important players on New England's roster," says Underhill. "In fact, a case could be made that is one of the best of free safeties in the NFL."