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New England Patriots

PHILADELPHIA, PA - AUGUST 19: Head coach Bill Belichick of the New England Patriots talks to Mac Jones #10 against the Philadelphia Eagles in the first half of the preseason game at Lincoln Financial Field on August 19, 2021 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The Patriots defeated the Eagles 35-0. (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)

Rookie players – especially those taken after the first round – generally have taken a back seat on Bill Belichick’s Patriots teams. In the past, the team has generally put extra emphasis on experience, allowing their younger players to observe and develop their games behind the scenes before playing meaningful snaps.

Based on the team’s initial roster, the 2021 season will likely be a departure from that scenario. Based on the way the team is currently constructed, rookie players are set to play a number of key starting and reserve roles.

MORE: Meet the Patriots’ 53-man roster

Alex Barth is a writer and digital producer for 985TheSportsHub.com. Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Thoughts? Comments? Questions? Looking for a podcast guest? Let him know on Twitter @RealAlexBarth or via email at abarth@985TheSportsHub.com.