As part of a preview for New England Patriots training camp (first practice July 30) and to re-familiarize ourselves with the roster, it's time to bring back the "checking the locks" series. Today, we continue with wide receivers.
Analysis: The top six players are back from 2014, making this a position with little intrigue from a roster perspective. The most pressing question centered around Amendola's contract, and that was resolved in the offseason when he took a pay cut to remain with the club. The competition for the No. 4 spot, and possibly a No. 5 spot, will be the main area to watch in training camp. Tyms is viewed as a leading candidate at this time because he also adds value on special teams, specifically in punt coverage. This is a big year for Dobson, the 2013 second-round draft pick, and he received a lot of quality repetitions in spring camps after missing those workouts last year because of foot surgery. Boyce runs well and could still be a factor, while Gibson is a seasoned veteran with a knack for running comeback routes, among other things. We didn't include special teams ace Matthew Slater on the list, as he is viewed more as a specialist than a receiver.
Checking the locks 2015
Cornerbacks in transition
Running backs closely bunched in competition
Safeties add infusion of youth