Friday, August 19, 2022

Former sixth-round safety proving to be a sleeper candidate at Patriots training camp

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. — It’s been a minute since a Bledsoe made waves at Patriots training camp. 

Through the first two sessions of the summer, second-year safety Joshuah Bledsoe has turned heads. Now, even if you are a faithful follower of Foxborough’s finest, it’s alright if you don’t know who we’re talking about here. After all, Bledsoe was taken 188th overall in the sixth round of the 2021 NFL Draft and has yet to play a snap in the regular season. The Missouri product was sidelined for his entire rookie year due to injury. 

With two training camp practices under his belt this year, however, Bledsoe has turned heads. He has five pass breakups thus far, including three that came during Thursday’s session. One of those featured Bledsoe getting a hand on a pass from Mac Jones intended for tight end Jonnu Smith during 7-on-7s.

“Josh was flying around today,” Jalen Mills said of Bledsoe. “He kind of missed a little bit cause of his hand. Now, he’s got an opportunity to show the coaching staff what he has from last year. I think that’s really big for him.”

Of course, there are some lumps that Bledsoe has dealt with over this stretch at well. For example, Jonnu Smith leaped over him to make a touchdown catch on Thursday, so it hasn’t been entirely dominant. Still, the young safety is showing promise. 

“He’s just growing,” said fellow safety Adrian Phillips. “He’s able to go out and put stuff together. He’s learning, he’s asking questions, stuff that you want to see from young guys, and he’s eager to get out there. Sometimes [you mess up] and that happens in our field. You know, you go over something and you might mess up, we all might mess up, but he’s not afraid to and he wants to get another rep, so it’s good just to see him grow.”

New England is flush with safeties on the roster at the moment with Phillips, Devin McCourty, Kyle Dugger, and Jabrill Peppers (PUP) headlining the depth chart, so it might be tough for Bledsoe to carve out a role. That said, his ability to showcase his talents against Jones and some of the first-team offense could be enough to soon consider this more than just a summertime fling. 

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