It happens every year. Bill Belichick will fill out his roster with a few undrafted rookies and more often than not at least one will find a way to contribute.
But just because we now it's happening doesn't mean identifying which rookie will get the call isn't challenging. Usually we get a good idea of which players are in the mix after watching a week or so of training camp when the pads are on and the competition rises.
We won't wait that long, however. Instead we're working off brief glimpses of spring workouts in shorts and without pads. It certainly makes things tougher but we'll take a shot anyway.
This season the Patriots brought in a large crop on undrafted rookie free agents, some of which received a decent amount of money to sign. Despite that, none of the players received enough cash to ensure themselves a roster spot, so it's still a pretty wide open field.
Our question this week is pretty simple and straightforward: Which undrafted rookie will make the 53-man roster?
PFW's Andy Hart says ...
The undrafted rookie safety out of Richmond stood out for a variety of reasons during the spring. First, his impressive 6-3, 210-pound frame is tough to miss. That's excellent size for an NFL safety.
He showed great range and coverage ability in the back end of the defense, moving fluidly to the ball throughout the workouts. Jones also was used as a punt returner and handled the ball well. He showed no signs of trouble fielding the kicks and should get some opportunities to do so down the line, maybe even during the preseason.
Guys with Jones' speed and size always have a chance, and he stood out to me right from the start. Look for him to get every opportunity to make a run at the roster at a position that may need some depth.
PFW's Paul Perillo says ...
I must admit my pick is based more on various reports indicating Bill Belichick's affection for Langi than anything I've seen thus far. That's no knock on the linebacker out of Brigham Young; but working in shorts without pads isn't exactly conducive to a physical linebacker's style.
Langi is a versatile player who even served as a running back during his college years. He can play in a number of roles on defense and has experience playing inside and outside linebacker. That flexibility could serve him well, and his athleticism should make him a special team natural.
Belichick reportedly liked the player going back to 2016, and now Langi will get to prove the coach right by earning a roster spot.
Now it's your turn to cast a vote in this week's Samsonite Make Your Case poll question.