Five Patriots players worth keeping tabs on in camp

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Mandatory Credit: Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports

5. Dominique Easley: Defensive Tackle, Florida University

The Patriots rotated several different players into the game along the interior defensive line last season after All-Pro Vince Wilfork went down with an Achilles injury.

While Joe Vellano, Chris Jones and Sealver Silgia held their own while in the game, by no means did their performance guarantee them consistent playing time this season.

Aging veterans Wilfork and Tommy Kelly will be looking to bounce back from injury. They’ll likely get the initial nod at the starting tackle spots.

The Patriots struggled to rush the passer and stop the run at times with Kelly and Wilfork out of the lineup. Easley is a dynamic, physical player. He could effectively step in and clog the middle in addition to generating pressure toward the quarterback.

New England drafted Easley with their first-round pick in the draft. Weighing in at 290 pounds, they’ll have the option to rotate Easley from tackle outside to end at any time.

Staying healthy will be key to Easley’s success though. He was limited during his career at Florida after suffering a torn ACL.