NEPD Staff Writer: Oliver Thomas
2. Adrian Wilson’s Fit Lies Anywhere — As far as 12-year-pros are considered, former Arizona Cardinals safety Adrian Wilson looks like he’s got plenty of gasoline left in his tank. As many have divulged, Wilson’s been leading the charge at strong safety. But it’s also worth noting that, per NESN.com’s Luke Hughes, the 6’3”, 230-pound ex-Pro Bowler has even gotten looks as a sub package linebacker and middle linebacker with the first-team defense. The fact that Wilson has been setting the example isn’t surprising, yet it is interesting how he has been utilized in practice.
While he is versatile, he does appear to be the No. 1 candidate to play strong safety right now, even if that means 2012 second-round pick Tavon Wilson’s role remains the same as a “Money” defensive back in dime situations. In classic Belichick terminology, the Patriots will “do what’s best for the football team.” The younger Wilson has an opportunity to learn from the elder, and that tutelage is valuable.
3. Zach Sudfeld Standing Apart — The Patriots acquired an oft-injured tight end prospect in April, and thus far, the move is paying dividends. No, Zach Sudfeld is not Rob Gronkowski. In fact, he’s a couple months older than him. But like Gronkowski, the Nevada product is massive — 6’7”, 255 pounds — and was downplayed through the draft process due to medical concerns which left him as a sixth-year senior. Sudfeld is now healthy, and with several other Patriots tight ends stuck on the sidelines, the 24-year-old is making the most of his extended workload.
An exceptional blocker and a can’t-miss red zone target, Sudfeld has a lot to offer the Patriots, especially if Gronkowski starts the season the PUP list. Don’t be shocked if the rookie nicknamed “Sunshine” beats out some incumbents for a final roster spot. Then again, it’s June and every player is wearing shorts.