Mike Reiss of ESPN Boston calls Shane Vereen and James White the only sure-fire locks to make the Patriots roster at the running back position.
"The reason Ridley and Bolden don't garner the same consideration is the possibility that Houston (undrafted free agent) or Gray (first-year player) surprise and challenge for a roster spot," adds Reiss. "That's a long shot, and Bolden brings significant value on special teams, but something that at least warrants consideration. Bolden, after all, made the roster as an undrafted player two years ago." READ MORE>>
Nick Underhill](http://blog.masslive.com/patriots/2014/07/rankingthepatriotswrsaaron.html) of MassLive.com believes Patriots WR Aaron Dobson will remain the team's top "X" receiver, assuming he is able to fully recover from offseason foot surgery.
"Dobson did not participate in spring camps due to the injury," adds Underhill. "If he can pick up where he left off, and build on the 37 catches and 519 yards he accumulated last season, he could emerge as a legitimate outside threat this season." READ MORE>>
Bucky Brooks of NFL.com believes that Rob Gronkowski will eventually become the face of the Patriots franchise after Tom Brady's playing days in New England are over.
"Although Gronkowski's latest injury (torn ACL) threatens to keep him off the field early in the season, there's no doubt his presence energizes the unit and leads to better offensive production," writes Brooks. "Simply put: Gronkowski is the Patriots' most important player not named Tom Brady." READ MORE>>
Ross Jones](http://msn.foxsports.com/nfl/story/new-england-patriots-2014-preview-health-will-be-the-biggest-key-063014) of FOX Sports previews the Patriots 2014 season and tabs LB Jamie Collins as the team's breakout player.
"The 6-foot-3, 250-pound linebacker earned valuable snaps and showed tremendous development down the stretch," writes Jones. "Playing in just 26 percent of the team's defensive snaps, Collins showed a glimpse of his superstar potential in an AFC divisional-round playoff win against the Colts. The numbers in the box score -- 6 tackles, 1 sack and an interception -- don't do his performance any justice." READ MORE>>
Pat Kirwan of CBS Sports writes that Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels is one of the NFL's prime head coaching candidates.
"McDaniels is one of the only Patriots coaches to be re-hired by Bill Belichick when they became available," adds Kirwan. "Last year, when the Pats lost their top five receivers, McDaniels still built the NFL's seventh-ranked offense. Clubs looking to emulate the Patriots' plan will interview McDaniels." READ MORE>>