Patriots Stock Watch: Players rising and falling

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Whats up #PatsNation?! I’m here to discuss the New England Patriots stock value on three rising players and three falling players who need to step it up as we continue to roll through this 2018 season. After a slow, frustrating start to the year the Patriots are finally getting in a groove which is a DISASTER for the rest of the NFL. Brady looks like Brady, the defense/secondary is improving, and Edleman is back and causing havoc for opposing team defenses.

Lets take a look at which three players I think have their stock on the rise and which three players stock is falling, shall we?

On the RISE:

  1. Julian Edelman:

Patriots fans rejoiced as JE11 finally made his way onto the field after a year-long absence. Not only was JE11 the shot of adrenaline this team needed, but he’s exactly what the doctor ordered for Brady. Julian’s impact showed INSTANTLY when guys like Patterson, Gronk, Hogan, Gordon and the guys in the backfield were able to get open with more frequency than prior weeks.

Look for this offense to get better and better each week with Julian back on the field

2. Jason McCourty:

After losing Malcolm Butler to the Titans, Patriots fans were left wondering what their secondary would look like. Sure, the Patriots had names like Stephon Gilmore, Devin McCourty, and Patrick Chung return but there still were questions that needed to be answered. It may be a blessing in disguise when the Patriots brought in a veteran presence and Devin McCourty’s identical twin, Jason McCourty (yet another Rutgers alum).

Many questioned if J-Mac would make the team out of preseason. I’m sure ALL of patriot nation is happy with the production from him thus far. J-Mac’s veteran ability has been noticed in the locker room and on the field as he has shut down nearly every WR who has lined up against him.

Be on the look out for the brothers McCourty to keep causing headaches for WR’s on a weekly basis.

3. Sony Michel / James White:

Yes, I know I said three guys but these two have been a dynamic duo in the backfield this season. Injuries have helped them become a force and both are succeeding quite nicely. Sony has come along nicely the past few weeks after fans were doubting his draft status, position and overall talent and capabilities at the NFL level.

James “sweetfeet” White on the other hand has always shown how great he can be for this team. It became more evident when Tom Brady himself called for more dosages of White in the offense. So far, all he has done is deliver.

Pending Rex Burkhead’s return, these two should continue to be monsters out of the backfield going forward.

Starting to FALL

  1. Dont’a Hightower:

Since returning from injury, the always reliable Hightower has just not looked like himself these first 5 weeks of the season. This has led him to be on the “fall” list.

Dont’a has not been recording the number of tackles that we would like to see these first few weeks. He has produced 9 solo tackles and 9 helpers for a total of 18 tackles in 5 games. This does include 1 forced fumble, but no recorded sacks. I would suggest moving him to defensive end here and there to help the pass rush. Unfortunately the linebacker core is so thin that unless a trade happens, a Hightower position switch isn’t in the foreseeable future.

If Hightower can remain healthy and get his legs back then look for him to make a HUGE impact for this defense and the run stop going forward.

2. Danny Shelton:

Danny Shelton was brought into New England to do one thing, and one thing only. STOP THE RUN! So far ,when watching the games live and in person, it seems like two guys have taken the starting DT jobs. Those guys are Lawrence Guy and Malcom Brown. They seem to have taken Shelton completely out of the picture when it comes to the run game. Hopefully it’s just a case where he needs more time to learn the defense, but we do need Shelton on the field in big games to plug the middle and disrupt the opposing team’s running game.

Look for Shelton to get some more playing time down the stretch and hopefully make a bigger impact on the field.

3. Eric Rowe:

Rowe is only 26 years old and a former second round talent, but good lord he has been ATROCIOUS in his time with the Pats dating back to last years Super Bowl loss to the Eagles. Also, he has been inactive a majority of the games thus far this season and is taking the form of a ghost.

Thankfully, guys like Gilmore, Devin and Jason McCourty, Pat Chung, Jon Jones, and Duron Harmon have stepped up and given this secondary/defense a HUGE BOOST when needed. It is now safe to say unless Rowe can turn it around, he is now more of a liability on the field than Ryan Gosling was in, “Remember The Titans”.

That ends this edition of stock up / stock down for your New England Patriots through the first 5 weeks of football.

Stay tuned for more great articles from myself and the other great contributors at Boston Sports Extra. Be sure to give me a follow on Twitter @B_Murph1021 and visit http://bostonsportsextra.com/ to get more content on all your favorite New England teams!


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