New England Patriots

New England Patriots

New England Patriots

Mac Jones of the New England Patriots looks on with Kendrick Bourne before a game against the Miami Dolphins at Gillette Stadium on January 1, 2023 in Foxborough, Massachusetts. (Photo by Billie Weiss/Getty Images)

The New England Patriots return to the practice field for OTAs on Tuesday in Foxboro, and we’ll be there watching closely for Here are five players we’ll have a sharp eye on as the team gets to work…

  • WR Kendrick Bourne

    Dec 12, 2022; Glendale, Arizona, USA; New England Patriots wide receiver Kendrick Bourne (84) against the Arizona Cardinals at State Farm Stadium. Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

    Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

  • Tyquan Thornton was the only wide receiver that “stood out” for the Patriots in their first open practice, as much as any player can stand out in that setting. Bourne didn’t see as many touches, but he was spotted multiple times looking chummy with Mac Jones.

    This season is a bounce-back opportunity for Bourne after a troubled 2022, so we’re looking to see him get more involved in practices over the course of OTAs and camps.

  • WR DeVante Parker

    GREEN BAY, WISCONSIN - OCTOBER 02: DeVante Parker #1 of the New England Patriots scores a touchdown during the third quarter against the Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field on October 02, 2022 in Green Bay, Wisconsin. (Photo by Patrick McDermott/Getty Images)

    Patrick McDermott/Getty Images

    If the Patriots are serious about signing DeAndre Hopkins – they continue to be mentioned in various rumors – then it would make logical sense for him to take Parker’s spot on the field as the full-time “X” outside receiver.

    So, we’re going to keep an eye on Parker, how he’s used, and whether he can leave an imprint on team drills.

  • RB Pierre Strong

    Aug 11, 2022; Foxborough, Massachusetts, USA; New England Patriots running back Pierre Strong Jr. (35) runs with the ball during the second half of a preseason game against the New York Giants at Gillette Stadium. Credit: Brian Fluharty-USA TODAY Sports

    Brian Fluharty-USA TODAY Sports

  • Fellow second-year back Kevin Harris looks like the next man up after Rhamondre Stevenson in the ground game. But Strong was getting plenty of looks with the second-team offense as more of a passing down back in the last open practice.

    Strong will be a player to watch as far as whether he can ascend to a bigger role in the offense. His usage on Tuesday could provide clues.

  • OT Conor McDermott

    Dec 12, 2022; Glendale, Arizona, USA; New England Patriots offensive tackle Conor McDermott (75) against the Arizona Cardinals at State Farm Stadium. Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

    Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

    We’ll have a better idea of how the offensive tackle spots are shaking out when Trent Brown is back at practice. It wouldn’t be shocking if he were absent again for Tuesday’s voluntary session.

    McDermott was used as a swing tackle last week, as the Patriots seem to like him on the right side, with Calvin Anderson stepping into Brown’s spot at left tackle. We’ll be watching to see if that setup is the same on Tuesday.

  • DL Keion White

    PITTSBURGH, PA - OCTOBER 01: Kedon Slovis #9 of the Pittsburgh Panthers is hit as he throws by Keion White #6 of the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets in the second quarter of the game at Acrisure Stadium on October 1, 2022 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Justin Berl/Getty Images)

    Justin Berl/Getty Images

  • White is huge and athletic and promises a skill set the Patriots have relatively lacked at defensive end in recent years. At the same time, Belichick doesn’t always like to play rookies right away, especially on defense, preferring to let them marinate as long as he can.

    But White may be too good not to make an earlier-than-expected impact on defense. He was heavily involved in the last open practice, with Lawrence Guy and Davon Godchaux absent. We’ll be looking to see how he’s deployed this time around.


    Pats in on DeAndre Hopkins?
    Patriots who stood out at OTAs
    — Sports Hub Patriots Podcast

    Click here for complete New England Patriots coverage at

    Matt Dolloff is a writer and podcaster for Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Have a news tip, question, or comment for Matt? Yell at him on Twitter @mattdolloff and follow him on Instagram @realmattdolloff. Check out all of Matt’s content here.

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