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NFL.com gives Patriots rookies second-worst grade in AFC East

NFL.com didn’t seem all that impressed with the New England Patriots’ rookie class in comparison with the rest of the AFC East division.

According to lead draft writer Eric Edholm, the Patriots’ 2022 class was the second-worst graded team in the division behind the New York Jets and Buffalo Bills. They barely beat out the Miami Dolphins rookies with a grade C.

It’s a bit surprising considering how much the Patriots’ rookies contributed in their first year. Defensive back and special-teamer Marcus Jones was a First-team All-Pro, and Jack Jones was the second-highest graded rookie by Pro Football Focus through the first 10 weeks of the season.

Meanwhile, rookie offensive guard Cole Strange started in 17 games for the Patriots, while Bailey Zappe played well enough to make people wonder if Mac Jones was truly the best quarterback on the team.

Wide receiver Tyquan Thornton showed some flashes of his ability to take off at the next level, but then again, he was working within the confines of a Matt Patricia offense that struggled. So his first year did come off feeling a bit disappointing.

Edholm wrote:

“This rookie class has a wait-and-see quality, but it might never be a special group.”

It wasn’t perfect by any stretch for the Patriots’ rookies, but the 2022 season was brimming with hope for a brighter future in New England.

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Story originally appeared on Patriots Wire