How much worth do on-field performances have during organized team activities? Here's Patriots head coach Bill Belichick to sum it up: "With all due respect, we haven't really done anything on the field," he said this week.
Yeah, I get that. But for what it is worth, wide receiver Kenbrell Thompkins is standing out. According to the Boston Globe's Ben Volin, Thompkins "was sometimes dominant in drills, getting the better of new cornerback Brandon Browner several times."
Thompkins had a peaks-and-valleys rookie season and is battling Josh Boyce to be the team's No. 5 WR. Boyce has also done well in practices.
Volin also wrote about Danny Amendola and Tom Brady developing a good rapport, and Brandon LaFell 's ability to play all over the formation.
The LaFell bit is interesting because Volin said he could play the Aaron Hernandez role, lining up at various wideout spots and even at tight end. Volin called LaFell the Patriots' "Swiss Army Knife." I'd rather wait and see on LaFell rather than be sucked in by some glowing review three months before the season begins. He was the definition of mediocre for four seasons in Carolina.
The Thompkins v. Boyce battle has more importance to the Patriots than fantasy owners. I don't really trust any of their receivers -- Amendola is bound to get hurt again, and Aaron Dobson is currently recovering from a fractured foot, although he is expected to be ready for training camp. But if New England gets some good luck with good health and some of those youngsters really step up in their second year, Brady should post numbers better than last season.