New England Patriots completed the second day of training camp, and here are the most honorable (or dishonorable) mentions:
Stephon Gilmore, CB
Gilmore played extraordinary, batting a Tom Brady throw during 11-on-11 drills in coverage of Julian Edelman. His diving deflection resembled the play Gilmore made in the AFC Championship Game when he batted a pass from Blake Bortles.
Gilmore appears to handle well the pressure of being one of the defense’s best players. His obvious confidence and competence raise the level of play among the players around him.
Julian Edelman, WR
Edelman had a quiet Day 1. His participation was limited because of his ACL injury and looming suspension. Him taking it slow gives reps to players who will be playing in Week 1 that are less familiar with Tom Brady and the Patriots offense. Edelman is set to serve a four-game suspension due to performance-enhancing drugs.
Edelman’s Day 2 was a bit more impressive, thanks to a pair of touchdown catches. After running a pretty route, which drew an on-point target from Brian Hoyer, he shook rookie cornerback Duke Dawson.
J.C. Jackson, CB
The rookie cornerback picked off Hoyer in the red zone and broke on the ball meant for receiver Devin Lucien.
While Jackson was a standout during the spring practices, he has clearly fallen down the depth chart with Eric Rowe and Jason McCourty getting more work with the top offensive unit. However, his impressive performance on Friday might help him in his efforts for a roster bid.
Now, let’s take a look at those who ‘failed’ the second training day:
Marcus Cannon, Tackle
He exited Friday’s session. With an apparent injury, he was spotted leaving the field with trainer Jim Whalen.
Cannon missed the second half of last season due to an ankle injury and was limited during organized team activities and minicamp. LaAdrian Waddle took Cannon’s spot on the first-team offense.
While there’s no update on his condition, Cannon is one of the league’s best right tackles in both pass protection and run blocking, meaning that an extended absence would be an enormous blow to the team.
Malcolm Mitchell, WR
The Patriots receiver started Day 2 on a positive note, showing up on the practice field in pads.
But then the excitement about his presence was quelled. Despite warming up with the team, Mitchell spent all his time with players who were on the physically unable to perform list. This brought up speculations that he is still dealing with a lingering knee issue, which held him out of all of the 2017 season.
Why he has not recovered from that remains a mystery.
Corey Bojorquez, Punter
The rookie punter’s game is admirable when he’s kicking with no pressure and no players around him. He’s got a leg that can drive the ball deep with consistency. But on Friday he also proved power isn’t everything. When he stepped into 11-on-11 punting drill, he shanked the ball.
However, Bojorquez is far from hopeless by any stretch. He just needs to be more consistent if he wants to knock off Allen, who has been the picture of consistency since joining the Patriots.