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Patriots Daily: Can Anything Be Learned From OTAs?

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New England Patriots quarterback Drake Maye (10) steps on the field for an NFL football practice, Wednesday, May 29, 2024, in Foxborough, Mass. (AP Photo/Steven Senne)

NFL teams, including the New England Patriots, have been going through OTAs. One question asked annually at this time of year: Is anything important gained from these sessions? Coaches and players do benefit from these practices. The same cannot necessarily be said about fans and media.

From the outside, the biggest takeaway is regarding perceived depth charts or players changing roles/positions. Attendance is always interesting, as people look for players potentially unhappy with their contract status. Do injured players look healthy? Has anyone gotten noticeably bigger?

But in terms of player performance, very little can be learned. If a quarterback is extremely inaccurate or a receiver consistently struggles to catch the football, those things would be noteworthy. Those reports are infrequent at best.

Players at OTAs are wearing shorts. Nobody wears pads, aside from helmets. The practices do not accurately represent what things will look like when pads and contact are added to the equation. Trying to make sound football judgments on OTAs is the equivalent of judging draft prospects on scouting combine performances alone.

That said, the organized team activities give a feel for football season coming back (though it never ends for some of us). Nothing wrong with getting excited about Drake Maye throwing no-look passes, or Javon Baker looking explosive in drills. Jacoby Brissett is getting the most QB reps, Atonio Mafi is playing center, and Christian Gonzalez appears to have no limitations. These items seem worth noting, along with what is being said by players and coaches after practice.

So while it’s great for everyone to be interested and enthusiastic about OTAs, it is also important to remember that the regular season remains over three months away.

Also in today’s Patriots Daily:

Football Fun Fact of the Day

The highest draft picks in New England Patriots history since the 1970 merger to never play a game for the Patriots were Brad Dusek (1973) and Duke Dawson (2018). The Patriots drafted each player with the No. 56 overall pick in their respective drafts.

Charles Davis is the highest Patriots pick since 1970 to play zero games in the NFL. The Alcorn State running back was the No. 73 overall selection of the 1973 NFL Draft.

Post of the Day

No look passes from the No. 3 overall pick in the draft is one thing New England Patriots fans can get excited about during OTAs:

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