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Patriots News Blitz 7/24: Stacking up the roster

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PFF hands out their rankings for the linebacker groups around the NFL and the Patriots come in at 16th, led by Dont'a Hightower. Departures knocked this group down the rankings this year, but there are plenty of intriguing new players who could help propel them up the charts.

Tom E. Curran of NBC Sports Boston ranks the Patriots positional groups as they stand right now. Not surprising they're led by the special teams coverage group, cornerbacks and safeties, while the rookie kicker and special teams return group bring up the bottom of the rankings.

WEEI's Andy Hart and Ryan Hannable debate whether N'Keal Harry can make the leap in his second season with the team. Both think he'll make strides but are unsure he's a #1 NFL receiver. Hart also sees Cam Newton only competing with himself for the starting QB job.

Evan Lazar of CLNS Media wrapped up his Top 10 Most Important Patriots with Stephon Gilmore coming in at number two and the Cam Newton/Jarrett Stidham quarterback position as number one.

Karen Guregian of the Boston Herald wonders if the Patriots two rookie tight ends will be able to contribute right away given the challenging circumstances of this offseason.

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