Patriots dominate Pro Football Focus' ranking of top rookies in preseason

Nick Goss
NBC Sports Boston

One of the most encouraging developments through the first two weeks of the preseason for the New England Patriots has been the impressive performance of their rookie class.

Pro Football Focus on Wednesday released its ranking of the top 10 offensive and defensive rookies from the first two weeks of the preseason and three Patriots players made the list.

Jarrett Stidham came in at No. 3 among offensive players. The former Auburn quarterback is completing 65.1 percent of his passes for 372 yards with two touchdowns and zero interceptions through two games. Stidham winning the backup job over Brian Hoyer wouldn't be a shocking scenario if his performance continues to impress.

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The best rookie for the Patriots has been undrafted wide receiver Jakobi Meyers. Here's what PFF had to say about the North Carolina State product, who was ranked No. 1:

Few have been as high on Meyers as PFF has over the past few months, which is primarily a result of his contested-catch ability as well as his collegiate progression. The undrafted rookie from NC State earned an 82.5 overall grade last year, 37th among wide receivers while his 86.2 receiving graded pitted him at No. 21, seven spots behind his now-teammate N'Keal Harry. In eight of his 11 regular-season games last year, he saw double-digit targets, earning 80.0-plus grades in four them.

Meyers has always been up for the challenge and working with the Patriots first team in training camp appears to be just another stepping stone on his inevitable path to success at the next level.

The one Patriots rookie who made the top 10 defensive players list was Chase Winovich at No. 2. The edge rusher from Michigan tallied six tackles, two QB hits and a sack in the win versus the Titans.

A few other Patriots rookies have impressed in the preseason.

First-round draft pick N'Keal Harry played a limited number of snaps in the preseason opener against the Detroit Lions and made two quality catches before exiting with an apparent injury. Third-round pick Damien Harris was one of New England's best players in last week's victory over the Titans with 103 total yards. The Alabama running back is making a compelling case to be drafted late in your fantasy football league.

It's not often a team has so many standout performances from rookies in the preseason. The Patriots lost several talented players to free agency after winning Super Bowl LII in February, but their most recent draft class should be a tremendous help in filling out the roster with the required depth to make another deep run in the NFL playoffs.

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Patriots dominate Pro Football Focus' ranking of top rookies in preseason originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston

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